This terrific dish contains a slew of cancer fighting ingredients, plus it’s super easy and delicious to boot. It marries sweet roasted mushrooms with a sharp lemony kale pesto made with super antioxidant walnuts. Orzo the little rice shaped pasta often used in soups is very quick cooking and I love it. Although you can find it wholegrain, it’s not that common, but don’t let that stop you making this. Buy regular. With the mushrooms and the fiber rich kale sauce, there’s enough nutrient packed ingredients to offset using refined grain pasta.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Place mushrooms on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast about 15 minutes, or until golden brown and tender.
- In a blender, combine walnuts, remaining olive oil, lemon juice, kale and basil. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
- Fill a medium sized pot with water and bring to a boil. Add orzo and cook until al dente according to package instructions. Once cooked, drain and return to pot.
- Add pesto, roasted mushrooms and mozzarella to pasta. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
Ally Zeitz, Drexel Food Lab
- ¼ cup olive oil, divided
- 2 cups quartered cremini mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ½ cup chopped kale
- ¼ cup basil leaves
- 1 cup orzo ( see Ann’s Tips)
- 1 cup mozzarella bocconcini [small ball shaped], halved
- salt and pepper to taste
Ann's Tips and Tricks
Reserve a cup of the hot pasta water before draining the orzo. Use it a tablespoon at a time as needed to lubricate the orzo and pesto when you toss them together in the pot.
Don’t overcook the pasta. When using white flour pastas it’s important it be al dente, so always cook it 1 minute less than the stated packet time. Why? The softer it gets, the higher it goes up the glycemic index. The Italians were onto something!