Traditionally made with ground basil, garlic, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese, pesto sauce is one of our favorite vegetarian pasta sauces. But the beauty of Italian cooking is that, when you choose seasonal ingredients that are fresh and complement one another, you can reinvent almost any sauce or dish and turn it into an even healthier version of the original. This pesto with green beans is a prime example of taking a classic recipe and adding fresh ingredients that amp up its health quotient, and its flavor!
You’ll find traditional pesto flavors in this sauce. We would never skimp on the healthy, delicious ingredients that make pesto so popular! But we’ve enhanced this traditional sauce by adding green beans. Cook them for just a few minutes, so that they still retain their crunch and their nutrients, and blanch them for that delightfully green pop in your pasta! And of course, green beans always taste better when paired with almonds, so we’ve added almonds to this sauce as well. Almonds add fiber and protein to this healthy pasta dish.
The second you look at your bowl, brimming with green pops of veggie color, you’ll feel proud of yourself for making yourself such a healthy dish. And when you take a bite, you’ll forget all about the nutrients and fiber in this recipe, because the taste and textures will blow you away. This is the perfect dish for a weeknight or for any night. It’s easy to put together, easy on the eyes, and a treat for the taste buds.
Yields: 6 servings | Calories: 298 | Total Fat: 14 g | Saturated Fat: 2 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Sodium: 511 mg | Cholesterol: 2 mg | Carbohydrates: 35 g | Fiber: 3 g | Sugars: 2 g | Protein: 8 g | SmartPoints: 9
- 4 ounces green beans, ends cut off and sliced to 1-1/2 inches long
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces whole grain penne or any short pasta
- 1 cup pesto
- 1/8 cups almonds, slivered or flaked
- 8 big fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Over medium to high heat, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. When it boils, add the 1/2 teaspoon of salt then drop the green beans. Cook for 5 minutes then take them away with a slotted spoon and drop them in a bowl with a lot of ice to blanch them. When they cool down, drain them and set the green beans aside.
In the same pot of boiling water, cook the pasta. Follow the cooking time to make them al dente. When they are cooked, drain.
In the serving bowl, mix the hot pasta, green beans, pesto, almonds and basil.
Drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil and serve immediately.
More Healthy Vegetarian Pasta Dishes:
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