Winter Pesto Pasta

I love pesto, but it's usually made with basil and thus associated with the warmer, summer months. I recently was looking for a lighter, gluten free pasta dish and found great inspiration from one of my favorite cookbooks, Deliciously Ella. I modified it a bit, and the results were AMAZING. Creamy and delicious with amazingly nutritious green veggies. This was family approved, and I plan to make it again for dinner parties. Enjoy!

Serves 6-8


1 cup of brazil nuts

1/3 cup pine nuts

1 avocado

2 cups arugula

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 cup olive oil + 2T for the vegetables

salt and pepper to taste

1 pound brown rice penne pasta

2 zucchini squash or zucchini

1 head broccoli

1 cup of peas

1/2 cup of water

Note: I did not use basil in this, but if you are missing it feel free to add 1/2 cup


  1. Process brazil and pine nuts in a food processor for about a minute, until completely ground
  2. Add avocado, arugula, lemon juice, olive oil, 1/2 cup of water, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.
  3. Cook the pasta in a large pot according to package directions.
  4. While the pasta cooks, slice the zucchini and broccoli into bite size pieces and place in a frying pan with 2 T of olive oil. Saute 5-7 minutes until zucchini is slighting browned and soft .
  5. Defrost peas in microwave or boiling water.
  6. Once the pasta has finished, drain and return to original pot.
  7. Toss the pasta together with peas, pesto, zucchini and broccoli.
  8. Enjoy!

Note: The pesto would be great to use as a dip or in a pinch if you need pasta sauce on a busy weeknight. Make double and freeze half!