Pasta with Lemony Spinach Pesto and Veggies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
An easy veggie-packed pasta dish that's both nourishing and delicious! Comes together in less than 30 minutes for a super quick meal. Enjoy as is or add sauteed chicken and serve with Parmesan, feta or goat cheese according to tastes.
Recipe type: Dinner, Veggies, Sides
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Serves: 3-4 servings
  • 1 8-12 oz container gluten-free pasta (here we used Le Veneziane Gluten-Free Rigatoni)
  • 2 heaping cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup asparagus, cut into 1½ -2 inch pieces
  • ½ cup sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, cut into pieces
Lemony Spinach Pesto
  • 2 cups lightly packed fresh spinach
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts (to toast, heat in a dry skillet over medium high heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently so as not to burn)
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1-2 teaspoons lemon zest (I always prefer more zest to less but if you're unsure start with 1 teaspoon and add more)
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ⅛ -1/4 teaspoon salt, according to taste
  • pinch black pepper
Optional for serving
  • Parmesan cheese, feta or goat cheese
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (I tend to not use a ton of salt and only use about ¼ teaspoon, especially with this dish because the sun dried tomatoes are salty. Feel free to add more to taste)
  1. While water boils, cut the broccoli and asparagus is you haven't already and toast the pine nuts for the pesto if you haven't already.
Quickly boil Broccoli and Asparagus
  1. Before cooking the pasta, add broccoli florets and asparagus pieces to the boiling water and cook for 1-2 minutes until color brightens and tender crisp (they can be pierced easily but still a bit of crunch to them). Cook longer for softer vegetables.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, remove broccoli and asparagus from boiling water and place in a strainer. (Do not drainer water; use the same water to cook the pasta)
  3. Set aside.
Cook pasta
  1. Add pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente, generally on the low end of the recommended cooking time on the pasta package.
  2. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water before draining into colander.
  3. While pasta cooks, make the pesto
Lemony Spinach Pesto
  1. Place spinach, pine nuts, lemon juice and lemon zest in a food processor and pulse several times to combine.
  2. With the food processor running, stream olive oil into the top of the food processor. Scrape down the sides as needed and run food processor until well combined and mixture is smooth.
  3. Add salt and pepper. Pulse to combine.
  4. Can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator in a sealed container. Just bring back to room temperature before using.
  1. Add cooked hot pasta back to the sauce pan, add blanched broccoli and asparagus, and pesto. Toss to combine adding any reserved water as desired. (I have not needed to add the reserved water to this dish but always a good idea to have it just in case!)
  2. Add sun dried tomatoes and toss to combine.
  3. Serve as is or top with Parmesan, goat cheese or feta. Enjoy!
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