Garden Tales & Penne Pesto with Roasted Broccoli and Sundried Tomatoes

Last night’s dinner was by accident.  I was busy working outside, adding more compost to my garden.  Replacing my potato bag that my wonderful dog decided to rip open.  A potato bag is just a reusable bag I bought. I put a couple potatoes in it, added dirt and now potatoes are growing.  It is pretty awesome.

I am trying really hard to be a gardener this year.  I have broccoli growing, snow snap-peas, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, green beans, and a variety of winter squash including pumpkins.  I am growing carrots, lettuce and herbs in containers.

Here is my broccoli.  I am impressed by this plant.  But I don’t think I will ever grow them again.  It is a huge plant.  It takes up a lot of space and to me you don’t get much from a huge plant.  Unless I am missing something I can do with the leaves.

I add more pots of herbs to grow.  I started another pot of carrots.
I was busy admiring my basil plant that I keep on the porch. I peek inside and it is already 6pm!

Well usually we are eating dinner by this time and the kids have already started whining wondering when dinner was going to be.

I was planning some pasta dish that required beans and roasted broccoli.  Well all I had was dried beans and not enough time to do anything with them tonight.  So I look through the cupboard real quick. I had sun-dried tomatoes and oh my basil plant.  I happened to have walnuts in the freezer. I wanted pesto. I could roast the broccoli still and add some sun-dried tomatoes to pasta and it could make a wonderful dish and it did.

Penne Pesto with Roasted Broccoli and Sun-dried Tomatoes

1 package of 1 lb whole wheat penne
3 tbsp pesto (recipe to at the bottom)
4 cups of fresh chopped broccoli
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp olive oil
12 sun-dried tomatoes
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven 425 F. Start a large pot of boiling water for your penne.
Chopped your broccoli up. Put it on a cookie sheet, drizzle olive oil, season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Toast around to coat it evenly. Roast your broccoli for 15 minutes.
Add your pasta to your boiling water. Cook to the directions. Boil a cup of water in a small saucepan, place your sundried tomatoes in. Turn off heat and let them soak for 15 minutes.

Once your pasta is done, put it in a big serving bowl, add your 3 tbsp of pesto and mix thoroughly. Once your broccoli is done, mix it in with your pasta.
Drain your tomatoes, chopped them up. Mix in the pasta and serve. Add some Parmesan cheese on top if you like.
Makes 6 servings.

Walnut Pesto Recipe
1 1/2 cups of basil leaves
3/4 cups walnuts
2 garlic cloves – peeled
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Place all ingredients but oil and salt and pepper in food processor. Add the oil in slowly as it processing. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Now this makes more than 3 tbsp. I freeze the rest for another day.


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