A couple weeks ago, my mom gave me boxes dried whole wheat pasta. I decided to throw together a nice batch of Pesto with Whole Wheat Penne Pasta using some frozen pesto I found in the freezer.
I bought the pesto from Whole Foods Market a while back, had thrown it in the freezer, and totally forgot about it. Once I saw the tin container sitting in the freezer, I remembered how delicious the pesto was. They were giving out samples of Pestos with Panache by Lauren at the Bowery location of Whole Foods Market. The lady was handing out pieces of crostini with various flavors of pesto. I found the Fabulous Fig and Gorgonzola Pesto to be so tasty that I couldn’t resist not buying a tin. I tried the other flavors, but I think I enjoyed this one most. The pesto is great for tossing into pasta, spreading on toasted bread, or mixing into vegetables.
The pestos is frozen when you first purchase it. Once thawed, it can stay refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. If kept frozen, it can last up to 2 years. The recommendation is to section off some of the pesto to use and keep the rest in frozen state in the freezer.
Pesto with Panache by Lauren
Here’s the recipe for pesto with pasta. This recipe makes about 6 to 8 servings.
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 7 oz pesto
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cups dry, uncooked pasta (I used whole wheat penne)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add the pasta in a large pot of boiling water. Cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain.
- In a frying pan, heat the oil over medium low heat.
- Add onion and salt and pepper.
- Cook until onions are soft and slightly caramelized.
- Mix in pesto.
- In a large bowl, combine pesto mixture and cooked pasta.
- Sprinkle red pepper flakes.
I used store-bought pesto, but you can easily whip up your own fresh pesto. Here’s a recipe for a simple basil pesto. It yields about 1 cup. It is a very basic recipe, so feel free to modify it to make your own fancy pesto if you like.
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup pine nuts and/or walnuts
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Here is the pesto pasta topped with steamed okra and sliced cashews – packed for lunch in a convenient plastic container.