Meatless Mondays are back in full swing because I'm trying to stay on track for eating healthy and doing my best to save some extra money. It's the after-Christmas cutback that you practice when you bought yourself that really nice pair of Ugg boots and all those extra little gifts for your nephews, nieces, your extended Cuban-Filipino family, your friends and possibly that wow-factor gift for your special someone. It's budget costing and small sacrifices that you make. I may have bought myself a couple extra outfits every now and then while shopping at the stores, too. Oh well, pregnancy clothes that fit are a RARE find sometimes!
More importantly, most of you are adding more vegetables into your diet because that's what your new years resolution is. Eat healthy, and eat something green. Or you can be sneaking extra veggies into your menu planning when your husband isn't looking either. That's what I did with this meal. Eric and I have a love affair with all things Italian, and my husband instantly recognized that I had made pesto for dinner and happily scurried away to prepare the dinner table. Little did he know that he was in for an extra veggie treat. Although, Eric made a little sour face that this wasn't "Pesto" the typical one made with basil, but he happily ate it anyway.
Simple and delicious!
Adapted from Everyday Food: January/February 2012
1 bunch broccoli, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
10 ounces short pasta, like penne or fusilli
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan, finely grated, plus extra for serving
1 teaspoon lemon zest, grated and the juice from the lemon (1 tablespoon)
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
2 to 3 garlic cloves
1 can (15.5 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
In a large saucepan, boil water and add salt at the boiling point. Blanch the broccoli pieces until tender and bright green (about 4 minutes) and remove instantly with a slotted spoon and place in the food processor. Bring water back to boil and prepare pasta according to package directions. Reserve 2 cups pasta water, drain and return to saucepan.
In the food processor, add extra-virgin olive oil, cheese, lemon zest and juice, parsley and garlic cloves with the broccoli and pulse until smooth. Make sure to scrape down as needed, and transfer the pesto into the saucepan. Stirring to combine and adding some of the reserved pasta water as needed until it reaches your preferred creamy consistency. I like mine slightly chunky and added 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of water. Fold in the cannellini beans and cook the pasta until warmed through. Taste for seasonings, add salt and pepper if needed. Serve with extra Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Yield: 4 servings
Nutritional Info: Per Serving: 484 calores, 9 g fat; 22 g protein, 82 g carb; 10 g fiber