Had leftover asparagus, wanted pesto with pasta, this was the result.
If I owned a food processor, I would have used that to whirl up the sauce till smooth.. dicing vegetables only goes so far. However, this was good despite it's inhomogeneity.
Serves 2, with a side dish
-medium pot (or pasta cooker)
-fine vegetable grater and good knife -OR- use a food processor
1.5 cups cooked pasta
10 to 12 asparagus stalks
1 medium zucchini
6 to 8 garlic cloves (you can't have too much garlic)
2 to 3 green onions
1 half of a (14 oz) can Swanson vegetable broth -or- can Swanson Natural Goodness Chicken broth
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. dried basil (or a bunch of the fresh stuff!)
1 Tbsp. parsley
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. onion powder
1/3 cup grated mozzarella cheese -OR- 1/4 cup cream cheese -OR- (as I used) 4 slices Galaxy Nutritional Foods Mozzarella flavored cheese slices
0. Prepare the pasta shells as directed on package to make about 1.5 cups cooked pasta. Don't let the pasta get soggy. Drain well and set aside.
1. Wash asparagus and (choose one from below):
a) mince each stalk into very fine pieces using a knife
b) carefully grate the stalks using a coarse cheese grater <--- my option c) toss in a food processor and dice Set asparagus mush aside. 2. Remove ends and grate the zucchini (or whirl in processor). Go ahead and add grated zucchini with the asparagus. Peel and mince up the garlic; place with zucchini and asparagus. Remove root ends, then dice up entire green onions (not too hard to do).
3. Place asparagus, zucchini and garlic in a saucepan. Pour one half (about 1 cup) of the can of broth over the veggies. (Store remaining half of broth in the fridge for another day.) Add olive oil. Stir well.
4. Begin cooking veggies and broth up over medium-high heat. Once the mixture comes to a boil, turn the heat down to medium. Add spices: basil, parsley, oregano, onion powder, black pepper and sea salt. Stir and continue cooking for 5 more minutes (taste sauce to make sure vegetables are tender-- it shouldn't take long to cook!).
5. Once mixture begins to thicken, turn heat down to medium low and add cheese. Stir well once cheese is added. The cheese should help further thicken the mixture into a sauce.
6. If you have a food processor, whirl the sauce for about 20 seconds, or until creamy enough for your taste. Warm up pasta and reheat sauce... Serve warm tossed with cooked pasta.