Mushroom Pesto Pasta.

Mushroom Pesto Pasta. (Linda Gassenheimer/TNS)

Portobellos add a hearty flavor to pesto sauce and pasta. Simply saute meaty portobello mushrooms and add them to the prepared pesto sauce. This flavorful pasta dish can be made in the time it takes to boil pasta for this vegetarian dinner.

I accompanied the dish with Roasted Pepper Salad. Roasting red peppers intensifies their flavor and gives them a smoky taste. Making your own are great, but not on my schedule for a weekday meal. I find that canned or jarred roasted peppers work will with this salad.

Helpful Hints:

- Any type of washed lettuce can be used for the salad base.

- If you don't have a food processor, finely chop the mushrooms and onion by hand, and stir them into the pesto sauce.

Countdown:

- Put water for pasta on to boil.

- Make Mushroom Pesto Pasta.

- Make salad.

SHOPPING LIST

To buy: 1/4 pound sliced portobello mushrooms, 1 small package washed, ready-to-eat Italian-style salad, 1 small package pine nuts, 1 8-ounce can cannellini beans (white kidney beans), 1 small can or jar roasted red peppers, 1 container reduced-fat pesto sauce, 1 package fresh linguine, 1 bottle reduced-fat salad dressing and 1 bunch fresh basil optional garnish.

Staples: olive oil, salt and black peppercorns.

___

MUSHROOM PESTO PASTA

Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups sliced portobello mushrooms

1/4 cup prepared reduced-fat pesto sauce

1 tablespoon pine nuts

1/4 pound fresh linguine

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons fresh basil torn into small pieces (optional garnish)

Bring 3 to 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Heat oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Saute mushrooms for 5 minutes. Place in food processor and process to chop. Add the prepared pesto sauce and process, scraping the sides of the bowl once or twice until well blended. Remove from the blender into a large bowl. Mix in pine nuts.

Cook the linguine in the boiling water for 3 minutes, or until it's cooked but still firm. Drain, and toss with the mushroom pesto sauce. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve and sprinkle with basil optional.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 422 calories (39% from fat), 18.2 g fat (2 g saturated, 7.5 g monounsaturated), 5 mg cholesterol, 13.6 g protein, 49.8 g carbohydrates, 4.1 g fiber, 260 mg sodium.

ROASTED PEPPER SALAD

Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

Several leaves of washed, ready-to-eat Italian-style salad

1 cup rinsed and drained canned cannellini beans (white kidney beans)

1 cup drained and sliced canned roasted red peppers

2 tablespoons reduced-fat salad dressing

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Arrange salad leaves on 2 dinner plates. In a small bowl, toss the beans, peppers and salad dressing together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon over lettuce.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 183 calories (9% from fat), 1.8 g fat (0.3 g saturated, 0.6 g monounsaturated), 1 mg cholesterol, 10.8 g protein, 39.1 g carbohydrates, 8.2 g fiber, 20 mg sodium.

___

(Linda Gassenheimer is an author of over 30 cookbooks. Her newest is "The 12-Week Diabetes Cookbook." Find her on Facebook (@FoodNewsandViews) and Twitter (@LGassenheimer), and listen to her podcasts at www.880thebiz.com.)

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.