Meatless Monday Recipe: Spinach Pesto Pasta with Zucchini and Roasted Red Peppers

Have you made a commitment yet to try out Meatless Mondays, a movement to skip meat one day a week to help your health and to help the environment? My carnivore husband was a bit reluctant to try the idea at first. So to get him started, I asked that he join me with at least eating a meatless meal every Monday night or maybe twice a week.  

Two weeks in a row, we’ve had great meals that he has enjoyed, starting with a pasta dish featuring spinach pesto and vegetables. This recipe calls for hand-grated Parmesan cheese. Store grated usually has added preservatives, so skip that and do it yourself for a more healthful option. Doing it yourself also saves money.

If your loved one isn’t a fan of spinach, I recommend telling them after they have finished their meal what is in it. This dish is so tasty even the most finicky of eaters will come back for seconds!

#MeatlessMonday Spinach Pesto Pasta with Zucchini and Roasted Red Peppers
21/2 cups of organic spinach
3 garlic cloves (less or more based on taste)
2 tablespoons of walnuts
4 tablespoons roasted red peppers
1 pound zucchini, sliced
6 tablespoons of olive oil (or to taste)
8 ounces of rice pasta
1/3 cup hand-grated Parmesan cheese
Sea salt
Black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Add pasta when at a boil.

Put 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet and heat over medium. After a few minutes, add the sliced zucchini and sprinkle it was salt and pepper. Cook it about 10-15 minutes until tender.

In a food processor, combine salt, garlic, walnuts, and about 4 tablespoons of the olive oil. Process, scrapping down the side to ensure it is mixed well.

Drain the pasta, saving 1/3 cup of the liquid in a measuring cup. Add pasta to the skillet and toss with zucchini, pesto, Parmesan and pepper. If it is dry, add a bit of the pasta liquid at little at a time until it has an even consistency. Mix it fast, to keep the spinach warm and raw not cooked, which will result in a higher nutrient level per bite.

Plate the pasta and add a tablespoon of red peppers on top.

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