Summer Tuscan Pesto Pasta

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I love summer!  I love sun, heat, being at the ballpark watching my favorite team, trips to friends cottages, longer days and just being outside.  I have a June birthday, born on the summer solstice in fact; maybe that has something to do with the fact that Summer and I get along so well!

Tonight’s dinner was fresh out of the garden and so delicious.  It came together in just a few minutes and just screamed summer with it’s bright colors and fresh flavors.  The recipe uses my Best Ever Basil Pesto recipe.  I sautéed some peppers and onions and served them over a whole grain thin spaghetti.  The sauce is the basil pesto with some grilled chicken breasts.   A delightful meal, like summer all wrapped up in a big pasta bowl.

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I found a jar of cherry peppers at Trader Joes.  They’re a sweet and hot pepper and they have a great complex flavor.  They’re more flavorful than hot, adding a warmth to the dish.  I also used a jar of roasted red and yellow peppers.  The peppers from our garden are sweet italan peppers.  Any bell pepper, banana pepper or poblano pepper would work.  The more the color the better!  Just pick what looks good at the market keeping in mind if they’re hot or sweet varieties.

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Summer Tuscan Pesto Pasta
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Pasta
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • ¾ of a 12 oz box of whole wheat thin spaghetti
  • 3 Italian sweet peppers (or any other sweet peppers) - chopped
  • ½ of a red onion - chopped
  • 1 12 oz jar of roasted red and yellow peppers - chopped
  • 6 cherry peppers - chopped
  • ½ cup kalamata olives - course chopped
  • ⅔ cup basil pesto (go to link above for my recipe)
  • grilled chicken breast tenders if desired
  • 1 cup of reserved pasta cooking water
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, adding 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil to the boiling water before dropping the pasta.
  2. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water
  3. Drain and rinse the pasta
  4. While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium high heat.
  5. Add 1 Tablespoon olive oil to the skillet.
  6. Add the Italian sweet peppers and the red onion to the skillet and sautee until crisp tender, approximately 5 minutes.
  7. Add the roasted red and yellow peppers and the cherry peppers to the skillet and heat until warmed through, approximately 2 minutes.
  8. Add the pasta to the pan and gently stir to mix the peppers through
  9. Add the basil pesto and add a little (a couple of Tablespoons) of the reserved pasta liquid in order to thin the pesto a bit, allowing it to evenly coat the pasta.
  10. *Note - you will NOT use all the reserved pasta water.
  11. Plate the dish and sprinkle it with the chopped kalamata olives and basil leaves to garnish.
  12. Serve with the grilled chicken breast tenders, if desired.

 

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