December 19, 2014

whole wheat orzo with artichoke-walnut pesto

Yum
  Amazing.  This pasta rates as one of my absolute favorites.  I love pesto and enjoy different versions of the original, basil with almonds, and this is a winner!  This pesto is so good with the walnuts, artichokes, and lemon.  Plus, since it come together quickly it's perfect for a weeknight meal and makes wonderful leftovers!

Servings 4-6
Total Time 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 pound orzo pasta (if you are making this gluten free be sure to buy the appropriate pasta)
  • 2, 9 ounce frozen artichoke hearts, divided, thawed and chopped into 3/4 inch. pieces
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnut, toasted 
  • 1/2 cup fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested 
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon course salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ears corn, kernals removed
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan, plus some for serving (leave out for vegan/dairy free)



INSTRUCTIONS

 In a food processor or blender, combine 2 cups artichokes, oil, walnuts, oregano, parsley, lemon juice, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper.   Blend on high until the mixture is thick and smooth.  Set aside.


In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions, to al dente.  During the last 2 minutes of boil time add the remaining artichokes.  Drain and return to the pot. 


Add the pesto, tomatoes, corn and parmesan to the pasta mixture. Toss until all the ingredients are coated. Salt and pepper to taste.  


Top with cheese and enjoy!!!

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