Lightened Pesto

By: Kim Beavers Email
By: Kim Beavers Email

This is a light and fresh tasting pesto for anytime of the year.

1 cup ziti pasta (about 4 ounces)
2 cups basil leaves
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp toasted pine nuts*
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
Pasta water as needed
¼ tsp salt

Cook pasta according to directions on box (omit salt and oil).

While the pasta cooks, combine basil, garlic, Parmesan, pine nuts, oil, lemon juice and salt in a food processor. Process until finely ground. You may need to stop and scrape the sides of your food processor a couple of times.

Add hot pasta water one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached (I used 2 tablespoons).

Store pesto in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days or freeze for up to 6 months.

Yield: 4 servings pasta; 8 servings pesto (serving size: 1/2 c. pasta, 1 Tbsp pesto)

Pesto Nutritional Information:

Nutrient breakdown: Calories 50, Total fat 5g (0g saturated fat); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 100mg; Carbohydrate 1g; Fiber 0g; Protein 1g
Percent Daily Value: 6% Vitamin A, 2% Vitamin C, 2% Iron, 2% Calcium
Carbohydrate Choice: 0 Carbohydrate
Exchanges: 1 fat

* To toast pine nuts, spread them in a single layer on an un-foiled baking sheet and bake in a conventional or toaster oven at 350 degrees for about 3 to 5 minutes, until just slightly deepened in color.

Serving suggestion: Use pesto on hot pasta, as a sandwich spread, on pizza or calzones, on fish, or to flavor soups or rice.


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