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The Foodie

Gluten-Free Basil Pesto Pasta Recipe

April 6, 2016

I often create recipes on the fly, based on what I feel like eating or based on ingredients in my kitchen.  This dish was created, as I walked through the grocery store, based on my preferred flavor profiles when making pasta.

Ingredients:

Box of Ancient Harvest SuperGrain Garden Pagodas Pasta (first time trying this and it is worth the splurge!  Other gluten-free national pasta brands don’t stand a chance against this!)

Pack of Aidelles Chicken Apple Sausage (4 count) (exclude this ingredient if you choose to go Vegetarian/Vegan)

Bag of Fresh Express Baby Spinach

Pint of Grape Tomatoes

California Sun Dry Sundried Tomatoes Julienne Cut with Herbs

4-8 cloves of Garlic or 2-4 teaspoons of minced Garlic

3/4 cup of Olive Oil (add more or less based on desired texture)

2/3 cup of Pine Nuts

2 Oz of Basil (use less Basil and more spinach or arugula, if preferred)

Block of Parmesan Cheese (exclude this ingredient if you choose to go Vegan)

1 Lemon

Sea Salt

Cracked Black Pepper (i.e. from a pepper mill)

Cooking Instructions:

Prepare Pasta according to package instructions and set aside in a strainer

While pasta water boils / while pasta cooks, brown Chicken Apple Sausage on all sides in a grill pan over Medium Low heat with a Tablespoon on Olive Oil – I personally use a Calphalon Signature Nonstick 12′ Round Grill Pan

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Once Brown on all sides, transfer to a cutting board and either allow to cool or use a fork to hold in place and cut each sausage into 5-6 diagonal slices (you can also skip the Chicken and go Vegan)

Warm a saute pan over Medium Low heat and add about 1/3 cup of sundried tomatoes

Add the sliced Chicken Sausage and 2-4 cloves of minced Garlic and allow to simmer for about 2-3 minutes

Add pint of Grape Tomatoes and allow to simmer for 3- 4 minutes or until tomatoes start to wrinkle

Add Spinach (washed and strained) and cook for 1-2 minutes until they start to wilt

Add Cooked Pasta

Add about 1 cup of Basil Pesto Sauce (you will have about 1 cup leftover or you add more, if preferred)

Plate pasta and top with freshly grated Parmesan Cheese and Cracked Black Pepper to taste

Basil Pesto Sauce:

Basil Stock PhotoYou can prep the pesto while the Chicken Sausage browns by using a food processor – I love my Cuisinart Food Processor!

Add Pine Nuts (you can also use Walnuts but I preferred Pine Nuts), Basil (washed and strained), 2-4 cloves of Garlic and 1/3 bag of Spinach (you can add more Basil or use Arugula if preferred) and pulse until coarsely chopped (scrap ingredients off the sides with a silicon/rubber spatula after pulsing)

Turn on processor and add Olive Oil in a steady stream until well blended

Add 1/3 cup of freshly grated Parmesan Cheese (you can skip the cheese and go Vegan) and juice from 1 Lemon and pulse to mix together

Add Salt and Pepper to taste (add more lemon juice as a tradeoff for the salt)

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Enjoy!