Pesto pasta is unique in our affection regarding indulgent yet easy-to-prepare dishes. The rich, aromatic sauce complements pasta of all shapes and sizes to create a delectable symphony of tastes. But have you ever wondered what vegetables can take pesto pasta to the next level? This article explores the savory world of pesto pasta and its ideal vegetable partners.
What Veg Goes With Pesto Pasta?
Pesto pasta is an excellent canvas for various vegetables that can add dimension, texture, and flavor to a dish. Here is an expanded list of delicious vegetable options that combine well with pesto pasta:
1. Plum Tomatoes
When roasted or sautéed, these little bursts of sweetness add a hint of acidity and a delightful contrast to the rich and creamy pesto sauce. Their slightly charred edges can add a depth of flavor that complements the basil-based pesto flawlessly.
2. The Asparagus
Asparagus that has been lightly blanched or sautéed provides a crisp and refreshing contrast to the creaminess of pesto. The tender spears retain their distinctive texture and slightly grassy flavor, augmenting the overall taste.
3. The Vegetable Zucchini
Zucchini, whether sliced or spiralized, is a nutritious and versatile addition. It adds a delicate crunch and a mild, faintly nutty flavor. The zucchini ribbons can be twirled around the pasta to create an aesthetically pleasing and delectable dish.
4. Swiss Chard
When combined with hot pesto pasta, fresh spinach wilts gracefully, bestowing a vibrant green hue and a delicate earthy flavor. Its tender leaves blend harmoniously with the sauce, creating a delightful balance of flavors and textures in each morsel.
5. Sweet Bell Peppers
Roasted red, yellow, or green bell peppers have a sweet and slightly charred flavor profile that pairs exquisitely with pesto. Their vibrant hues and light sear from roasting make them an attractive and flavorful addition to pasta.
Cremini or shiitake mushrooms, when sautéed, impart an umami-rich, earthy flavor to your pasta. The mushroom’s umami accentuates the pesto’s herbaceous notes, producing a robust and satisfying dish.
7. Hearts Of Artichoke
Whether they are canned or marinated, artichoke hearts impart a sour and faintly salty flavor. This flavor profile balances the pesto’s richness wonderfully, and its unique texture adds a delightful element to the pasta.
Broccoli florets steamed or blanched lend a hearty and nutritious crunch to your dish. They absorb the pesto’s essence while providing a gratifying textural contrast due to their mild flavor.
Fresh or preserved, sweet peas provide a splash of color and a hint of natural sweetness. These tiny green gems not only add visual allure but also a subtle sweetness that complements the pesto’s savory flavor.
10. Toasted Tomatoes
Sun-dried tomatoes provide a concentrated tomato flavor and a delightfully rubbery texture when they are chopped. They impart a sweet-tart intensity to your pesto pasta, creating a mouth-watering contrast with the buttery sauce.
A handful of fresh arugula leaves can give pesto pasta a peppery, mildly spicy kick. The peppery arugula leaves provide a zesty contrast to the mellow basil, thereby enhancing the complexity of the dish.
Finely chopped, massaged kale leaves provide a nutritional increase and a robust, earthy flavor. The sturdiness of kale combines seamlessly with pesto, enhancing the nutritional value of pasta.
13. Caramelized Red Onions
The pasta is given a subtle sweetness and caramelized flavor from the roasted red onions. Their tender and slightly sweet flavor is a beautiful complement to the pesto’s vibrant and fragrant flavor.
14. Caramelized Onions
Leeks that have been caramelized have a mild, faintly sweet onion flavor. They create a delicate flavor that complements the basil-forward pesto exquisitely.
15. Roast Garlic
Roasted garlic segments or minced roasted garlic can impart a robust roasted garlic aroma to pesto pasta. Adding a layer of complexity to your dish, roasted garlic’s mellow, earthy, and slightly nutty nuances combine harmoniously with pesto.
Vegetable Pesto Pasta
- 8 ounces of gluten-free rotini
- Two tablespoons of unadulterated extra olive oil
- One minced large shallot or small onion
- 1 cup fresh or frozen sweet maize kernels
- One tiny zucchini, diced
- One small summer squash seasoned with Montreal
- Three minced or pressed garlic bulbs
- Prepare pesto (recipe provided below).
- 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
To Prepare Pesto
- 2 quarts of fresh basil leaves
- Two teaspoons of walnuts
- Two tiny cloves of garlic
- A hefty sprinkle of salt and fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup unrefined olive oil
- 1/2 ounce of freshly grated parmesan
- In a food processor, combine basil, hazelnuts, garlic, salt, and lemon juice until basil is finely chopped. While the food processor is operating, drizzle in the olive oil and clean the sides of the bowl halfway through. The extra virgin olive oil can become acrid if it is over-processed. Stir in the parmesan cheese, then, if necessary, add additional lemon juice. The flavor of pesto should be something other than citrus but relatively fresh. Put away.
- Bring a large kettle of water to a boil, then add the pasta and one tablespoon of salt. Cook until pasta is almost al dente, then remove 1 cup of boiling water before draining. Drain and set aside pasta.
- While you wait, heat a large pan over medium-low heat with extra virgin olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add shallots or onions, kernels of sweet maize, zucchini, and summer squash. Season generously with Montreal seasoning, then sauté the zucchini for three minutes or until it begins to tender. Add garlic and cook for three minutes or until the zucchini is crisp-tender.
- In a skillet, combine pesto, cooked pasta, and cherry tomatoes with a whisk. Add a small amount of pasta cooking water to help the pesto adhere to the pasta; if necessary, add more to create a thin, light sauce. Taste, then add additional salt if necessary, and serve in containers.
The elegance of pesto pasta resides in both its simplicity and its adaptability. With a wide variety of vegetables to choose from, you can easily personalize your dish. Explore the world of pesto pasta regardless of whether you prefer the earthy flavors of roasted tomatoes, the crunch of asparagus, or the freshness of arugula. So, the next time you’re craving a satisfying and delicious meal, don’t be afraid to experiment with various vegetables to create a pesto pasta dish that is uniquely yours.
Thanks for reading.