(photo credit: Joe Orecchio)
By Laura Theodore, the Jazzy Vegetarian
Nothing showcases the simple pleasures of vegan cuisine better than a satisfying pasta dish. I adore pasta in all shapes and sizes and cook up pasta meals on a regular basis. They are easy, economical, filling, and delicious. Just steam mixed veggies and toss them with cooked penne. Sauté greens with olive oil and garlic and toss them with cooked fusilli. Heat up a jar of marinara sauce and frozen green beans and toss them with cooked spaghetti. Chop tomatoes, garlic, olives, and basil and toss them with cooked farfalle. Both my mom and my grandma made lots of spaghetti, lasagna, and macaroni when I was a kid, and the craving has stuck with me.
A great companion to pasta is pesto! This pesto makes a great meal to serve family and friends. The pesto can be made ahead of time and stored tightly covered in the fridge for about 24 hours. Just stir well before using, to fully combine the flavors. Here is my recipe of the week!
Simple Walnut & Basil Pesto
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
2 cups fresh basil, chopped
1-2 TBS water
1/4 cup wheat germ
2 cloves garlic
sea salt, pepper to taste
3 tomatoes, chopped
Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and process just until the mixture is smooth. My favorite way to serve this versatile pesto, is to toss it with piping hot pasta. Garnish the pesto pasta with chopped fresh tomatoes, or mix the tomatoes into the pasta. Sprinkle with a bit of fresh chopped basil. Serve warm or at room temperature. This dish is great served chilled too, as a summer pasta salad. Chill 3 hours or even overnight before serving.
NOTE: During the winter, basil can be hard to find. You may substitute chopped arugula for the basil for a zesty arugula pesto!
Watch the Jazzy Vegetarian TV Show in Muncie on Saturday mornings on WIPB- Channel 2 (Comcast) at 10:30am.
In this weeks radio show, Laura talks with pop superstar Belinda Carlisle about life as a pop icon and hear how she got involved in protecting animal rights. One of the programs she supports is Farm Sanctuary’s Walk for Farm Animals. For more information, visit their website at http://www.walkforfarmanimals.org/about.php.