Walnut Basil Pesto over Pasta

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When I returned from my (amazing) batchelorette party weekend in NYC, I had two surprises waiting for me: a rapidly growing basil plant in my AeroGrow and a brand new VitaMix (or Baby VitaMixie as I’ve been affectionately calling her). We’ve been saving and saving for one, and when we found out last week that an old family friend of Funks is the local VitaMix distributor, he suggested we wait a week to buy our new toy, because there would be a deal to receive a free dry container, to make things like rice flour and chickpea flour. So Funk brought it home when I was away and it was a great gift to return to.

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I’m not one for reading directions on appliances, and I know I should so we can use our VitaMix to it’s best ability and not screw it up. But Sunday night I couldn’t wait, so I threw some ingredients into the blender and hoped for the best-o pest-o.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of fresh basil (I used almost all of what you see above in the pictures)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup Daiya mozzarella “cheese” 
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce

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I blended for a few minutes until it was well combined, slightly smooth and slightly chunky. Meanwhile I boiled some water and steamed cut up sugar snap peas (a whole bag). When those were done, I tossed four servings of dry whole wheat pasta in the boiling water.

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When the pasta was cooked, I drained it, drizzled some basil olive oil in it, then added the sugar snap peas and pesto, and mixed to coat the pasta as much as possible.

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The fresh basil stole the show. It was so flavorful and I wish I had more to add. Funk was super excited when he learned I used walnuts in the pesto, and high-fived me for “sneaking” healthy fats into our pasta. Seriously, am I marrying my perfect match or what?! I would love a smoother consistency if I make this again – I wonder if soaking the walnuts would help. Does anyone have experience with this?

Since Sunday, we’ve made this pesto and four different smoothies with our precious VitaMixie. Tonight I’m going to try blending up some tortilla soup. Do you have a VM recipe to share?

7 Comments

  1. Posted January 26, 2011 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    That’s one good lookin’ basil plant! I love making walnut/basil pesto– I usually grind the walnuts in the food processor before adding the basil, and a drizzle of olive oil that seems to help keep it smooth. Happy Vitamixing!

  2. Posted January 27, 2011 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    There is nothing better than homemade pesto using fresh basil! I make lots of different pesto during the summer when I buy way too much basil and they are about to turn. And you can also use different greens – garlic scapes, arugula, etc.

  3. Posted January 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Mmmm, all that fresh basil! Makes me really miss summer and tomatoes….*sigh*. Pasta looks great! Hearty and satisfying yet still healthy. YUM

  4. Posted January 28, 2011 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Wow Janel you had me at the size of your basil leaves! I’m just home from holidays (Summer here in Oz) to snail eaten basil. I must look into the AeroGrow….not sure if available here. Is the taste as good as sun kissed?

  5. Janel
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Hi Emma – it does taste just like fresh summer basil! Not sure if they ship aerogrows abroad, but their customer service is great so it’s worth checking! And whenever I have excess, I put it in my dehydrator so I have nice dried herbs. P.S. I’ve been watching Oprah do her shows in Australia and it makes me want to head over there and visit you so much! Robyn will have a blast.

  6. Posted January 31, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    I’m SO close to taking the plunge and buying a vitamix! Have you made any green smoothies or nut cream with it yet? Tal Ronen has a great recipe for vegan celery root soup made with cashew cream.

  7. Janel
    Posted January 31, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Andrea you will love it! We’ve made smoothies (including green ones!) every day – sometimes multiple times a day. Last week I don’t think we chewed our food once. Everything just went in the VitaMix! I can’t wait to experiment with more recipes, soups, nut butters, etc. Get one and we can have a vitamix party!

5 Trackbacks

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