Thank goodness for pasta dishes that are ready in 20 minutes. And that your child devours. And that are super high in protein and omegas! I love the simplicity of this dish, and how quick it is to make. It’s one of those recipes I keep in mind for nights when I’m clueless as to what to cook up. Sweet basil, cherry tomatoes and kalamata olives bring a Mediterranean summery feel that I think we’re all craving right about now!
Traditionally, pesto is made with pine nuts, but I love using walnuts because, for one, they are much more affordable, and also a rich source of omega-3. They are great for your brain health, and they kind of look like little brains, don’t they?
I also skipped on the parmesan cheese as I avoid dairy whenever I can (it really doesn’t make me feel well) and tossed in hemp seeds instead. I know everyone has been loving hemp for a while now, I just recently jumped on the bandwagon, and I am obsessed! I love the nutty, almost sweet flavour (much like a pine nut actually), and their tender crunch. They are very high in digestible protein and in omegas as well, along with other minerals and vitamins. They work so well in pesto as they give a very similar texture to the dish as parmesan cheese would. At one point I thought I even tasted cheese. All in my head.
I can’t wait for my summer vegetable garden and my own fresh basil. I love heading to the backyard, barefoot, and picking it while I’m making dinner. Nothing better.
- 500 grams gluten-free pasta
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling pasta
- 2 bunches (approx. 2 cups) fresh basil, rinsed
- ½ cup walnuts
- 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 + 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
- 1 cup pitted kalamata olives
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Begin by cooking your pasta noodles according to packaging instructions. Remove from heat, drain, and pour noodles back into the pot. Drizzle with olive oil and set aside.
- Place olive oil, basil, walnuts, hemp seeds, garlic and salt in a food processor. Process all ingredients until well combined.
- Spoon pesto into your pot of pasta. Place pot on stove top over low heat. Add cherry tomatoes, olives and black pepper. Toss all ingredients well to combine.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
- You can make larger portions of the pesto and freeze it for later.
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