Food, for me, is a large source of comfort. When I feel sad, out of sorts or stressed there is nothing better than a delicious meal to make me feel better. Tonight that meal has some healthy additions as well! Healthy additions because I have may memories of stuffing myself silly with cookies and ice cream and whatever else I think might make me feel better and then after I have a belly full of junk I ALWAYS feel worse!! Ha, you’ve all been there, you know exactly what I mean….
So, tonight I decided to make pasta. And homemade pesto. And then I added some cannellini beans. And threw in some wild arugula. Yes, delicousness…..oh yeah, and lots of nutrition!
Recently, my favorite pasta to cook with is the Trader Joe’s (well, in TJ fashion they call it Trader Giotto’s which cracks me up) Multigrain Pasta Penne with Flax. It makes me so happy that flax is becoming a mainstream product. Flax is a WONDERFUL food with many health benefits. According to the American Dietetic Association, flax is a wonderful source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, zinc, iron, vitamin E and calcium! In addition to flax, this TJ pasta also contains spelt, barley and oat flours. And, here’s the best part, a 1 lb. bag costs fourty-nine cents. That’s right folks, fourty-nine cents. Hooray!! Go buy one right now!
So, enjoy my pesto pasta and other healthy stuff recipe the next time you need a little pick up that won’t put you down after you’ve finished. Yummmmm.
Pasta with Pesto, Cannellini Beans, Wilted Arugula and Dried Tomatoes
(seriously, I get hungry just reading the title! Ha!)
- 8 oz. grape tomatoes
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- large bunch basil (about 2 cups loosely packed)
- handful raw pine nuts (about 1/3 cup)
- 2/3 cup freshly grated parmigianno-reggiano
- olive oil
- 8 oz. cooked pasta (you know what kind I like….), rinsed under cool water
- 1-2 cups cannellini beans (depends on how much you enjoy beans…. If you know what I mean)
- 1 ½-2 cups wild arugula
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the tomatoes in half, toss with a touch of olive oil and spread on lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast 20-22 minutes until wilted and just beginning to brown.
- In the meantime, make your pesto. Begin by chopping half the garlic with half the basil leaves. Run your knife through, gather back into a nice pile and run your knife through again. Continue in this manner until they look pretty evenly cut then add the remaining garlic and basil. Once you have a beautiful fragrant pile of chopped garlic and basil, add the pine nuts and run your knife through the garlic/basil/nut pile until the pieces are the size you desire. Now add the parmigianno and cut the pile just to blend all the elements together. Gather into a bowl and add just enough olive oil to cover the pesto base. Set aside.
- Preheat a large metal fry pan or sauté pan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add a thin coat of olive oil and toss the cooked pasta into the pan. Next add the beans and turn every so often until beans are hot, 4-5 minutes. Add the arugula and turn, using tongs, until wilted. Finally add the pesto to the pan and turn to combine all ingredients together. Season generously with salt and pepper.
- To serve, portion pasta into individual bowls and garnish with the dried tomatoes.
** Sometimes I also like to add a touch of lemon zest just to brighten up the dish a bit!**