If you know me, you know how much I love an easy dinner recipe that is not only nutritious but quick to throw together at a moment’s notice. Knowing we have a sweet baby coming soon, I’ve been ALL about easy meals and I know they will continue to make an appearance in my kitchen over the next few weeks and months. And that’s where today’s recipe for Italian Pesto Pasta comes into play. I wanted a filling dinner that also featured some of the veggies I crave, lots of protein and brimming with flavor. Y’all… this meal has it all!
The inspiration for today’s recipe was actually one of the Hello Fresh meals Isaac and I have had over the past few months (read my full review of Hello Fresh here!). The other day we had one of their meals with ravioli, sausage and a simple sauce. It was DELICIOUS. And then it hit me… Why couldn’t I take that recipe, give it my own *healthier* twist and share it here?
Boom: Italian Pesto Pasta
This recipe features some of my all time favorites. Brown rice and quinoa pasta. Sweet Italian sausage. Roasted zucchini. Fresh tomatoes. Mushrooms. Spinach. And a spoonful of pesto. So simple and SO tasty! Best of all you can make this meal in about 30 minutes, making it the perfect meal for a busy weeknight dinner. And with all those tasty veggies in there, you’ll be eating a ton of vitamins and nutrients without even realizing in! I’m all about sneaking in the veggies as much as I can. : )
8 oz dried brown rice and quinoa pasta (I got mine at Aldi!)
1 lb sweet italian sausage
1 large zucchini
Salt & pepper
2 tsp olive oil
2 medium Roma tomatoes, diced
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 cups baby spinach, chopped
1/4 cup pesto
Preheat oven to 350. Thinly slice the zucchini, toss in olive oil and evenly spread out on a baking pan (make sure none of the pieces are overlapping). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the zucchini is brown and slightly crispy on the edges.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water, then drain the rest and set pasta aside.
In a large skillet, cook the sausage on medium heat until no longer pink in the middle, about 5-7 minutes. Drain excess oil.
Add the tomatoes and mushrooms to the pan and cook until they are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the reserved pasta water and pesto. Stir and simmer for 3 minutes.
Remove from heat. Add the zucchini and spinach to the pan and mix to combine.
Now it’s your turn to talk! Answer one of these questions in the comments below:
Do you have a go to weeknight meal you love making?
Have you ever taken a recipe you’ve loved and given it your own twist? How did it turn out?