Nothing could be sweeter to my ears than when my sweetie pie says, “I’ll help with dinner tonight.” Now you might be thinking that I’m saying that because I want a break in the kitchen. But actually, my man CAN COOK. And because he works in IT (computers) all day long, I’m usually the one creating dishes for us (and the blog). But one of the things that I really love is to watch him in the kitchen. He really could have been (or still could be) a master chef in my opinion. He has a knack and knows by taste when something is just right. So when he said he would come up with a new pesto for our date night pasta, I was all ears!
So the story of us goes like this… We started dating and we ate out a few times. And then I came to his place because he wanted to cook for me. And he made duck with blackberry sauce on the side and I was like, “Uhhhh, Whoa! You can cook!” And that was that. A man after my heart, and tummy. I asked him what else he could make, and sure enough, (if you read our About page you’d know this already), he turned me into a vegetable lover. That’s right. I eat and love vegetables. In fact, we have a garden now and we love making recipes straight from the garden. This kinda blew apart my whole I-ONLY-LOVE-DESSERT world. I now had to include vegetables into the mix. Sooo, yes, now I love all foods. Except processed, boxed foods. Yuck. Gross. Can you really call that food?
So on this particular date night, he asked me what we had to make the pesto. “What kinds of nuts are in the cupboards?” Walnuts.
“Perfect. What kinds of greens do we have?” Fresh Basil and Arugula in the garden. Check!
We always have garlic and olive oil in the house. And there you go… Pesto!
We really are trying to eat more vegetarian these days, at least a few times a week. And so we decided to add green beans and mushrooms into this recipe to up our veggie intake. This pasta recipe is super simple and comes together very quickly. Some of the pesto can even be saved in a freezer bag and used on another night (making it an even faster dinner)!
If you are looking for something delicious, organic, vegetarian, and filling, then here’s the recipe:
Date Night Bowtie Mushroom Pasta with Basil Walnut Pesto
(For the Pesto)
1 Tightly Packed Handful of Basil Leaves
1 Tightly Packed Handful of Arugula Leaves
1/2 Cup Walnuts (or Pine Nuts)
2-3 Cloves Garlic
Salt/Pepper to taste
3-4 Tbsp of Olive Oil
1 tsp Lemon Juice
(For the Pasta)
1-2 Cups of Green Beans (depending on number of people eating), 1 cup per two people
1-2 Cups Chopped Mushrooms (we use Crimini Mushrooms), 1 cup per two people
3-4 Tbsp Olive Oil
Pinch of Herbs de Provence (or your favorite Italian Seasonings)
2 Tbsp Butter
Heat water to a boil. Add a bit of salt and olive oil to water and add bowtie pasta. Cook according to directions.
While pasta is boiling, in a frying pan, add the 2 Tbsp of Butter, green beans and chopped mushrooms. Dust with Herbs de Provence (or Italian seasonings), garlic powder, salt and pepper. Once the mushrooms start to brown, drizzle with 3-4 Tbsp of olive oil and set aside.
To make the pesto, use a Handy Chop Food Processor. Add the walnuts, arugula, basil, garlic cloves, and salt and pepper, and spin in the Handy Chop a few times. Then add 2 Tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp Lemon Juice. Blend until it forms a thick paste. Add more olive oil a Tbsp at a time until the pesto is thick and creamy.
When pasta is cooked, strain. Add servings to bowls. Divide bean and mushroom mixture into the bowls on top of pasta. Then add the pesto into each bowl. Garnish with fresh Parmesan cheese. Blend the ingredients together and enjoy!
SWEETIE PIE AND CUPCAKES FAVORITE PRODUCTS