Creamy Pesto Veggie Penne

Sneakily incorporating 4 superfood green veggies into a creamy pesto pasta, this recipe hits every time. High protein cottage cheese combines with the natural texture of the zucchini gives this sauce its amazing texture. It’s a perfect weeknight meal, taking about 30 minutes from start to finish. 

Serves 8:

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large zucchini, quartered and sliced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 cup peas, frozen or fresh
  • 1 large handful of spinach
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 3 tbs pesto
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • 10 oz dried pasta
  • Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes to taste

Procedure:

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta 2 minutes less than the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Add oil to a medium saute pan, and cook the onions, oregano, chili flakes, and garlic for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant. Add the zucchini and saute for another 3-4 minutes or until the zucchini is soft. 
  • Deglaze with the white wine and reduce until the wine evaporates into a syrup
  • Add the peas, spinach, and milk, lower the heat and simmer until the zucchini and peas are completely soft
  • Transfer the mixture to a blender, add the pesto, basil, parmesan, and cottage cheese, and blend until completely creamy. 
  • Drain the pasta, add the sauce to the large pot and cook for another 2 minutes in the sauce and serve while hot

Chef’s tips:

  • You can mix and match the onions, just make sure to keep the white/green theme. You can use a similar quantity of leeks or green onions
  • Cooking the pasta in the sauce for the last few minutes allows the pasta to absorb more of the sauce
  • Using cottage cheese adds a similar texture to cream. 

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