Basil & Cashew Pesto Pasta

1/2      c. cashews

2          garlic cloves

2          c. packed basil leaves (washed and dried)

1/2       c. extra virgin olive oil

1/2       tsp. salt

1/8       tsp. pepper

1/2       tsp. lemon juice

1/3       c. shredded parmesan and romano cheese blend

Chop and lightly toast the cashews in a dry pan on a stove top.

Add toasted cashews and garlic cloves to a food processor and pulse until you have a chunky mixture.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and process until smooth (or pulse if you like a chunky pesto).

Set aside. (pesto can be eaten immediately, stored in the fridge for two days, or stored in the freezer for a few months)

photo-16

3/4       package of whole wheat spaghetti

2         Tbsp. olive oil

1       c. grape tomatoes, halved

1/2       c. petite peas, frozen

3         mozzarella sticks, cut into chunks

Preheat an oven to 350 F.  In a baking pan, mix together the olive oil and tomatoes and bake/roast for 30 minutes.  Set aside when done.

Cook the spaghetti according to the instructions.  Reserve a cup of the hot pasta water before draining the spaghetti.

Add half of the reserved hot pasta water to the frozen peas to thaw.  After thawed, drain the peas.

Add the drained spaghetti back to the hot pot and stir in the pesto.  Add the remaining hot pasta water to the spaghetti and pesto mixture.

Serve with the peas, oven roasted tomatoes, and mozzarella pieces.

Enjoy!

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