Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pasta with Fennel Pesto and Roasted Veggies

After making that brussels sprouts dish with mushrooms and fennel and the vegan bouillabaisse, I still had some fennel in my fridge.  I just assumed it was going to go to waste--especially the fronds--and then I saw this recipe on holy cow.  You can really make pesto out of anything, can't you?

I reduced the nutritional yeast and the oil, used walnuts instead of pumpkin seeds, and added some lemon juice.  I don't know that I'll make it again--my food processor couldn't really overcome the fennel's stringiness--but it was an interesting variation on an old standard.  Besides the hint of licorice, this pesto is pretty mild, and the balsamic-roasted carrots, fennel, and onion have a nicely sweet flavor.

Pasta with Fennel Pesto and Roasted Veggies
(adapted from holy cow)

1/2 pound whole-wheat pasta (I found that the pesto recipe didn't make nearly enough for this much pasta)
For the roasted vegetables:
1 fennel bulb (cut out the leaves and set aside for the pesto)
2 carrots
1 onion
1 TB balsamic vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
salt to taste
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
For the pesto:
fronds reserved from the fennel bulb, chopped into smaller pieces
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 TB nutritional yeast (optional, but great both nutritionally and for that cheesy flavor)
1/4 cup lightly toasted walnuts
2-3 TB extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp ground black pepper
salt to taste

1. Dice all the vegetables into 1-inch chunks and place in a baking dish.  Add vinegar, oil, salt and pepper.  Roast the vegetables in a 400-degree oven, stirring a couple of times during cooking, until they are fork-tender and coated with a balsamic glaze. This took me about 35 minutes.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain.
3. Place all the pesto ingredients in a food processor (except the olive oil) and process until coarsely powdered. With the motor running, pour in the olive oil until you have an even paste.
4. Place the pasta, roasted veggies and the pesto in a bowl.  Mix well and serve immediately.  Pesto (the limiting reagent here) serves about 3.

1 comment:

Gauri Radha गौरी राधा said...

Looks delicious!!