Roasted Veggie Pesto Pasta

Fresh basil pesto complements some of summer’s tastiest treats: zucchini, squash, tomatoes, artichoke hearts and more.

I am a sucker for roasted vegetables slathered in olive oil. They can do no wrong in my eyes.

This hearty, summer pasta is simple to make, but oh so flavorful. The fresh and citrusy basil, the buttery pine nuts and lightly charred veggies are beautiful together. Earthy artichoke hearts and a dusting of buttery Pecorino Romano (a nuttier version of parmesan) take this dish to the next level. Make it a vegan dish by swapping the cheese for nutritional yeast.

In this recipe, I used zucchini, squash, golden cherry tomatoes and spring onions — all of which are in season this time of year. The exception is spring onions, which peak in spring, but are still good in summer. I’ve also included canned artichoke hearts and red bell peppers for some extra color.

basil pesto, garlic, lemon, olive oil

The preparation of this pasta is pretty straightforward. Boil pasta until nearly al dente (not quite soft and chewy), roast veggies and make pesto. You could use store-bought pesto if you wanted, but I’m telling you right now that NOTHING beats homemade. This is an extra step worth taking, in my book.

Not convinced? I get it — it took me years to give homemade pesto a shot because I was intimidated. But seriously, it is so easy. Just measure the ingredients and dump into a food processor or blender. At minimum, you need three things: basil, pine nuts and olive oil. I add another few ingredients in my recipe, which you can find below.

Recipe: How To Make Your Own Pesto

This is a fun, flexible recipe that I make year-round with different ingredients. It’s great for weeknights, especially if you’ve prepped your pesto over the weekend and have it ready to go. Get creative! Throw in some chicken, if you want the extra protein. Swap out the rigatoni noodles for fettuccini. The possibilities are endless.

Pesto Pasta With Roasted Summer Veggies

Fresh basil pesto complements some of summer's best: zucchini, squash, tomatoes, artichoke hearts and more.
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 3 people

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups pasta shape of your choice
  • 1 cup pesto see recipe at link above or use homemade
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 spring onion
  • 1/2 cup golden cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup artichoke hearts
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Optional

  • 2-3 tbsps. toasted pine nuts leftover from homemade pesto recipe you can skip if you’re using store-bought pesto
  • parmesan or Pecorino Romano, to taste

Pesto

  • 2 cups basil
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • 2 tbsps. parmesan or Pecorino Romano optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line pan with tinfoil for easy cleanup.
  • Slice veggies into chunks and lay across your pan in an even layer. Drizzle olive oil over the veggies and season with salt and pepper, or any seasonings you’d like. Cook for 30-40 minutes.
  • If you’re making homemade pesto, now is a good time to prepare it. Toast pine nuts until golden brown and add all ingredients into a food processor or blender.
    NOTE: When preparing pesto, toast another 2-3 tablespoons of pine nuts in addition to what is required for the pesto recipe. Use these for garnishing plates at the end.
  • Bring water to a boil in a medium-large pot. Cook pasta according to box instructions, until nearly al dente. Drain and set pasta aside.
  • When veggies are finished roasting, use a spatula to scrape them off of the pan and into the pot. Place on low heat, and add tomatoes, artichoke hearts and pesto.
  • Serve when warm and top with toasted pine nuts. Top with Pecorino Romano.

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