I said I would do this, so here it is. Even though it’s been probably about 2 months, better late than never!
I have two children allergic to peanuts, and other nuts, and so I have been very hesitant to give them traditional pesto with its pine nuts. I’ve tried to find out if they are in the same family as the other nuts, but haven’t been able to figure it out. (If you know anything about, let me know please!) Since I’m not willing to risk it, and I love pesto, I thought I’d make my own version.
I start with a can of great northern beans. Yup, you read that right. That’s my base. Pour it into the food processor. Then I cut up some fresh basil from my outdoor pot (it’s one of the two things I can grow and not kill). And for a little extra sneaky fun, I add baby spinach. I use equal amounts of these two. The spinach flavor is so mild that I feel like I can get away with it. Adjust for your own liking. Probably about 1 cup each. Then blend away.
I store it in 1/2 cup portions in ziplock baggies in the freezer. As I am cooking the chicken on the stove top (along with some fresh garlic, salt and pepper) I just add a portion and let it melt into the mix. Once the pasta is cooked (we like the “butterfly” pasta, otherwise known as farfalle) I add it to the pan and let the basil sauce mix in well.
Wa la! Quick, easy, and healthy. And to top it off, my Joy girl will eat it with a little coercion, so it pretty much pleases everyone. 🙂