Pesto pasta is one of the quickest, easiest meals you can pull together. You can whip up a batch of oil-free pepita pesto in about 5 minutes and have this vegan pesto pasta with roasted tomatoes and brussels sprouts on the table in just about half an hour.
In the past, I’d often pick up a jar of delicious, locally made pesto from the farmer’s market. But these days, like most of you following a vegan and/or whole-food, plant-based diet no doubt, I make my own pesto at home. Along with a lot of other foods!
There’s quite a bit of active time when making this vegan pesto pasta with roasted tomatoes and brussels sprouts recipe, but all of the steps are simple: blend up your pesto, season and roast your veggies, boil your pasta, then assemble it all together at the end. Done!
This recipe is also super versatile. If the kiddos don’t care for brussels sprouts, skip them and either double your tomatoes or add another roastable veggie like quick-cooking asparagus. This is also a great option if you’re in a hurry, since it cuts about 15 minutes off your cooking time.
Want to up the nutritional value? Toss in 1½ cups (1 can) of cooked white beans into the pasta along with your pesto, and/or replace the pasta with a whole-grain like quinoa or bulgur.
But back to making our own food. There was a time when I resented having to cook dinner every night, and it could really stress me out. But after Hemant and I committed to this healthier, plant-based lifestyle, I made a conscious decision to prioritize food in my life.
They say we’re all given the same number of hours in a day. So true! I DO understand that some of us have more demands on our time than others. But for most of us, a healthy lifestyle really does come down to making food (and exercise!) a priority.
Let’s face it, we spend plenty of time on activities that don’t give us back nearly so much value. (Lecturing myself here, since I’ve been guilty of skipping yoga these past few weeks!)
These days, I make an effort to mindfully enjoy the process of cooking. This uncomplicated vegan pesto pasta with roasted tomatoes and brussels sprouts recipe is one of those meals where I can turn on some relaxing music, pour a small glass of pinot, chat with Hemant about his day (if I can get him to close his laptop!) and feel good that I’m making REAL FOOD to nourish our bodies.
Have you found ways to mindfully enjoy cooking? If so, I’d love to hear about them!
Pepita Pesto Pasta
- 1 recipe Easy Vegan Oil-Free Pesto (reserve some basil for garnish, if desired)
- 16 ounces of whole wheat pasta (GF if desired. about 4 cups of cooked pasta)
- 1 pound cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 pound brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and sliced in half
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- Optional: top with chopped basil crushed red pepper flakes and cashew parmesan.
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Season the sliced brussel sprouts by tossing gently in a medium bowl with salt and pepper. Remove and do the same with the sliced tomatoes.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and spread out the brussel sprouts, cut side down. Place in the oven and set the timer for 12-15 minutes. (Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your brussel sprouts.)
- Line a second baking sheet with parchment paper, and spread out the tomatoes, cut side up. When the timer goes off for the brussel sprouts, place the tomatoes in the oven. Remove the brussel sprouts and turn them over, then place them back in the oven with the tomatoes, and cook both together for another 15 minutes or until the the vegetables are browned and the brussel sprouts are just tender.
- Cook the pasta, drain, and return it to the pan. Toss the pesto and pasta together over low heat, just enough to warm through.
- Place the cooked brussel sprouts and tomatoes in a medium bowl, and gently toss together with the balsamic vinegar.
- To assemble, place the pesto pasta in serving dishes, and top with the tomatoes and brussel sprouts. (You could simply toss it all together, but I think it looks prettier this way, and the tomatoes won't get mushy.)
- If desired, garnish with reserved basil, crushed red pepper flakes and cashew parmesan.