Pesto Primavera Pasta with Roasted Veggies (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Pesto Primavera Pasta with Roasted Veggies is a vibrant dish full of colorful veggies and gluten free pasta coated in a Creamy Vegan Pesto. This pasta dish is a rainbow of colors with roasted orange pepper, green asparagus, purple eggplant and red tomatoes. The Creamy Vegan Pesto contains fresh basil, cheesy nutritional yeast, raw garlic for kick and toasted pin nuts to give it a rich nutty flavor. Pesto Primavera Pasta with Roasted Veggies is full of veggies because I like to enjoy my pasta with 50% veggies and 50% noodles.

Pesto Primavera with Roasted Veggies y @OutToLunchC #dairyfree #vegan #pesto #pasta

Basil

Basil is in the same family as mint and has a subtle peppery flavor that evolves into a sweet licorice flavor. Basil pairs well with asparagus, broccoli, corn, zucchini, eggs, chicken and fish.

Basil contains flavaniods that protect cells and chromosomes from radiation, making pesto a great sauce to eat before and after a flight. The volatile oils in basil have antibacterial properties and have been shown to restrict the growth of several strains of bacteria, even those that have become resistant to antibiotic. Basil is an excellent anti-inflammatory because the oils inhibit the same inflammation causing enzyme as over counter anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen. Basil is an excellent source of Vitamin K which promotes blood clotting and bone health.

Creamy Vegan Pesto by @OutToLunchC #pesto #vegan

Pesto Primavera Pasta with Roasted Veggies is a wonderful vegan dish but it also tastes great with organic chicken.  I like to use gluten free brown rice penne noodles for this recipe, but you can easily substitute your favorite whole grain noodles. This pesto primavera pasta recipe takes a little time to prepare because the veggies are roasted to bring out their natural sweetness and intensify their flavor.  To get started dice up your onion, orange pepper, asparagus, eggplant, 3 portabella mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. Toss with grapeseed oil and salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl then transfer to a baking sheet. Cook stirring frequently for 30-45min at 400F until soft.

Pesto Primavera with Roasted Veggies by @OutToLunchC #roasted #veggies

While your veggies are roasting, cook the pasta. It is best if you under cook the pasta just slightly because it will continue to cook when it is combined with the other ingredients. Once the pasta is cooked, rinse it and set it aside.

Pesto Primavera with Roasted Veggies by @OutToLunchC #pasta

Creamy Vegan Pesto sauce is really easy to prepare and it’s so creamy you would never know it is diary free! To start making the pesto, toast 6 tablespoons of pine nuts on high heat in a dry frying pan. This step really enhances the flavor of the pesto. It is important to stay with the pan and shake the pine nuts every few seconds while they are cooking because they burn really quickly. Once the pine nuts are golden brown, remove them from the frying pan and set them aside to cool. If you put piping hot pine nut in the vegan pesto they will cook the basil and take away some if it’s vibrant green color and flavor.

Pesto Primavera with Roasted Veggies by @OutToLunchC #pinenuts

Next place 4 garlic cloves in a food processor and pulse until minced. Add 4 cups of basil, 4 Tbsp olive oil, 4 Tbsp water and the cooled toasted pine nuts and pulse until minced. Finally add 2 Tbsp of lemon juice, 2 Tbsp of nutritional yeast and salt and pepper to taste and pulse until smooth. If you have a high powered blender or food processor, you can add all the Creamy Vegan Pesto ingredients at the same time and blend until smooth.

Pesto Primavera with Roasted Veggies by @OutToLunchC #pesto #vegan #dairyfree #nooch

Once everything is done cooking, place the roasted veggies, creamy vegan pesto and pasta in a large pan over medium heat. Gently stir until everything is coated in Creamy Vegan Pesto and heated through. Serve the Pesto Primavera Pasta with Roasted Veggies hot and enjoy.

Pesto Primavera Pasta with Roasted Veggies

Prep time: 25min

Bake time: 30-45min

Cook time: 15min

Serving size: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 orange pepper, diced
  • 1 bunch asparagus cut into ½ inch sections
  • 1 small eggplant, diced
  • 3 portabella mushrooms, diced
  • 1.5 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 4 Tbsp Grapeseed oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups dried pasta of your choice
  • *optional 2 chicken organic breasts, diced the same size as the veggies

Creamy Vegan Pesto

  • 6 Tbsp pine nuts
  • 4 garlic clove
  • 4 cups basil, packed
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the onion, orange pepper, asparagus, eggplant, portabella mushrooms and cherry tomatoes in a large bowl and toss with 4 Tbsp grapeseed oil, salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Spread onto the baking sheet and bake for 30-45 minutes or until soft, stirring every 10min.
  4. While the veggies are cooking, cook the pasta as directed on the package, drain and set aside.
  5. *If adding chicken, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan on medium heat; add the chicken and sauté until the center is no longer pink. Remove the pan and set aside.
  6. Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a dry saucepan on high heat for 1-2mins, stirring constantly until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.
  7. Place the garlic in the food processor and pulse until minced.  Add the basil, olive oil, water, toasted pine nuts and pulse until minced. Add the lemon juice, nutritional yeast and salt and pepper and pulse until smooth.
  8. Add the cooked veggies, pasta, chicken (if using) and creamy vegan pesto in a large frying pan and mix. Heat Pesto Primavera Pasta with Roasted Veggies on medium heat until heated through and enjoy.

Pesto Primavera with Roasted Veggies y @OutToLunchC #vegan #veggies

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Pesto Primavera with Roasted Veggies by @OutToLunchC #pasta #glutenfree #pestopasta

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2 Responses to “Pesto Primavera Pasta with Roasted Veggies (Vegan, Gluten Free)”

  1. Anne @ Unique Gifter May 8, 2013 9:43 am #

    Look at the colour in that pesto!! It looks divine :-)

    • Jesse May 8, 2013 10:45 am #

      Thanks Anne! The lemon juice helps keep it from oxidizing so it stays vibrant green.

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