Allen's Vegetarian Pesto Pasta


New member
During the Christmas catering season, and the Wedding Catering season, we often do plated functions. When you start getting functions that are over 100 people on a regular basis, you start getting a few vegetarian requests when the function is booked.

Where I work, the Chef leaves it up to me to prepare a quick, a la minute vegetarian meal.

One standard meal in any chef's lineup for vegetarian meals is a pasta dish with red sauce. Easy to make, tasty, etc. However, it can become tiring, especially if the person eating the meal eats a lot of Italian.

Last year, I came up with a different pasta meal that is almost Vegan, is wholesome, easy and quick to prepare, and smells/tastes incredible. Here's how I do it:

EVOO to saute with
minced garlic
julienned shallots
diced tomatoes
sliced mushrooms, preferably portobellos, as they have a strong flavor that can compare to meat
a couple large green olives, sliced
three or four kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
julienned bell peppers, preferably a mix of colors
sliced zucchini and/or yellow squash
any other vegetables that you like
6 oz cooked pasta (I typically use fettucini for this, although penne and fusili work as well)
2 T white wine
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
pesto sauce (if you really want Vegan, you'll have to make your own pesto and leave out the parmesan)
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a saute pan over high heat. My pasta is cooked, portioned, and frozen, so i just open a baggie and drop the frozen pasta into a hot water bath to heat it up; I do this while I'm sauteing the other ingredients. Once the pan is hot, swirl in some EVOO. Add the veggies, and toss well. Once the veggies start to go limp, pour in the wine and squeeze the lemon juice to deglaze the pan. Add the pasta and pesto. Stir or shake the pan to combine all the ingredients. Taste and season with salt and pepper to your liking. Pour into a bowl and garnish with something colorful.