Whole Wheat Penne With Edamame Pesto

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If prizes were awarded for great tasting and healthy pasta dishes, this would be a strong contender. Edamame is in the spotlight here. These soybeans look like little green gemstones hidden among the strips of intensely flavored tomatoes and hearty portobellos. Edamame also make an appearance in the pesto-like puree that coats the pasta. Admittedly, this dish has a lot of components, but all the elements add up to layers of incredible flavor.
Recipe By: Food to Live By - Myra Goodman with Linda Holland and Pamela McKinstry
  • PrepN/A |
  • TotalN/A |
  • Serves 4

Ingredients

Instructions

Pasta
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the edamame and cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the edamame in a strainer, transfer them to a bowl, and set aside.

2. Let the water return to a boil, add the penne, and cook according to the package directions.

3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and wine and stir to combine. Cover the skillet, reduce the heat to medium low, and cook until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes.

4. Add the edamame and the tomatoes, basil, thyme, and pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the tomatoes are warmed through, about 3 minutes.

5. Drain the penne in a colander, setting aside 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Return the penne to the pot. Add 1/2 cup of the Edamame ?Pesto? and stir to combine. If the pasta is too dry, add 1/3 cup or more of the reserved pasta cooking water.

6. Add the mushroom mixture to the pot with the pasta and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning, adding more Edamame ?Pesto,? salt, pepper, or pasta cooking water, if needed.

7. Transfer the pasta to a serving platter or pasta bowls, and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top. Serve immediately, garnished with basil, if desired.

Edamame Pesto
Edamame are fresh soybeans, pale green and oval, about the size of a fingernail.  Look for them in the grocer's freezer section, although sometimes you can find them fresh. They are very nutritious, and when pureed like a pesto, with garlic, lemon, parsley, and pine nuts, their usually mild taste comes alive. Serve this unusual pesto on pasta, or spread it on thin baguette slices or crackers for a quick appetizer. It?s great spread on sandwiches instead of mayonnaise, too.

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the edamame and cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the edamame in a strainer and set aside to cool completely.

2. Place the edamame in a food processor or blender and add the garlic, pine nuts, and parsley. Process until coarsely pureed, stopping to scrape down the side of the bowl once or twice.

3. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and process to combine, about 30 seconds. The ?pesto? will not be completely smooth. The pesto can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.

Additional Notes

About 1 cup shelled, fresh or frozen (unthawed) edamame (soy beans, from 1 pound unshelled)
Pinch of dried red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Recipes From GourmetSleuth.com - The Gourmet Food And Cooking Resource