Cilantro Pistachio Pesto Pasta with Tricolor Veggies

We seem to be having an overabundance of snow days here. Today was an unexpected one as no information about school closing was given beforehand. Found out about it after my son was all dressed and ready to go to school. Well , knowing beforehand would have ensured that we would have given our hard working alarm clock a break but still it wasn't bad news. We lazed around in the bed and had a leisurely breakfast which is such a luxury on week days.

Yet another school closing also means that lunch needs to be special as kids are there to enjoy it fully. While giving it some thought, decided why not to make it colorful as well ..healthy colorful . If comfort food is essential to enjoying a snow day in all it's glory , why not sneak in some veggies as well ? And while at it, why not utilize the bunch of cilantro lying in the fridge. So, here is the end result - cilantro pistachio pesto pasta with tri color veggies.

Ingredients -

16 oz box Penne pasta
2 cups stem removed cilantro
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp black pepper powder
1 cup white mushroom sliced
1 cup red pepper julienned
1 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup pistachio nuts
1 pound minced chicken (optional) ( you may substitute it with soya chunks)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp oil for stir fry 
1 tbsp minced garlic
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 green chillies
1 tbsp Italian seasoning

Method -

Cook the pasta for 7-8 minutes in boiling water to have Al dente like consistency.
Drain in a colander and set aside.
Meanwhile for the pesto , in a food processor , blend the cilantro, lime juice , salt , green chillies , pistachio while drizzling the olive oil until you get a sauce like consistency.
Stir fry the minced meat or soya chunks as well as the veggies . 
Pour in the pasta and add Italian seasoning, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, little salt and mix  it all together over medium heat .
Finally , add the pesto sauce and give it a gentle mix.


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