Meatless Monday – Pesto Pasta with Carrots

Meatless Monday – Pesto Pasta with Carrots

I first met my dear friend Joyce at her house over dinner more than 17 years ago. I fell in love with her and her pesto pasta instantly. All these years later, I’m still hooked on pesto and Joyce. πŸ™‚ Once you taste this pesto, you will have a hard time eating store bought. The basil is in it’s glory here, unlike the pale tasting ones in the stores. I typically cut the parmesan cheese into cubes and put it in the food processor, instead of grating it by hand. I also freeze the rinds of the parmesan cheese to use in things like soup or spaghetti sauce. I boiled my carrots in the pasta water a few minutes before adding the pasta here, but I also love adding oven roasted vegetables to this too. Enjoy!

2 cups basil leaves, stems removed – rinsed and dried
1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic (or 2 for you garlic lovers), peeled
2 tablespoons dry roasted pine nuts (I got mine at Trader Joes)
Salt (for the pesto sauce and the pasta water)
1⁄2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, plus extra for topping
2 tablespoons Romano Cheese, grated
1 cup carrots cut into coins, or 1 cup oven roasted vegetables (optional)
16 oz. bag penne pasta
1⁄2 stick butter (4 tablespoons)


  1. Place basil, olive oil, garlic, pine nuts, salt, Parmesan, and Romano cheese into a food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are combined and form a smooth paste.
  2. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil.
  3. Add carrots, return to a boil. Add pasta and cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.
  4. Place pot back on the stove.
  5. Add 1⁄2 stick of butter to pot and stir until butter is melted.
  6. Add pasta and stir until coated with melted butter. Add pesto, and stir to combine and until pasta is coated with pesto.
  7. *Optional* Add 1 cup roasted vegetables, stir.
  8. Top with extra grated Parmesan cheese if desired. Enjoy!

**Check out some of the items I used here by clicking on the Amazon link below. This link is an affiliate link, your purchase costs will be the same but The Masala Girl will automatically receive a small commission, thanks for your support. πŸ™‚

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