This vibrant and hearty vegetarian pasta dish is popping with color and flavor from the red pepper pesto, broccoli, and purple onion. This recipe is easy to make and you can get this dish on your table in as little as 30 minutes. You can even make the sauce ahead of time when you meal prep for the week for a fast, simple and tasty dinner.
I love pasta and who doesn’t? Pasta always hits the spot for me. Some view pasta as an unhealthy meal option. This can be true as with any dish depending on how it is prepared. Cooking pasta with plenty of veggies, healthy fats and lean proteins make for a well-balanced and nutrient dense meal. This recipe has a good dose of veggies, healthy fats from the olive oil and pine nuts and plant based protein from the beans making for an excellent and nutritious meal option.
The red pepper pesto is made using roasted red peppers. You can either roast the peppers yourself or use canned roasted bell peppers. Canned roasted red peppers can often be found in the canned goods section of the grocery store.
How to Roast Your Own Peppers:
If you opt to roast your own bell peppers simple place your peppers on a baking sheet and bring the oven to 425 degrees. Place in oven for 25 minutes, take out and rotate and place back in the oven for 15-20 minutes longer or until the peppers start to wrinkle and blister. Then remove from the oven and place in a zip top bag and allow them to sit for 10-15 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Placing them in the bag will allow for them to steam and make it easier to remove the skin and seeds. Once cooled remove the skin and seeds and they are ready for use!
To make the pesto place the roasted peppers, garlic, salt and pepper, toasted pine nuts and olive oil into a food processor and puree until smooth.
If you are using canned roasted red peppers be sure to rinse and drain off the liquid or your sauce will be runny.
Once your sauce is pureed remove to a bowl and stir in the basil, lemon zest and lemon juice. Stirring in the basil at the end will help keep your sauce nice and red, otherwise if you puree the basil with the sauce you may end up with a brown tinted sauce.
For those with renal disease depending on your stage of disease you may have to monitor your potassium intake. Most tomato based pasta sauces can be pretty high in potassium. This red pepper pesto can be a great alternative to traditional tomato based sauces for those having to watch their potassium intake. A 1/2 cup serving of tomato based pasta sauce typically contains 422 mg of potassium and if it contains tomato paste this number goes up. A ½ cup serving of this red pepper pesto contains only 250 mg of potassium.
This roasted red pepper pesto goes great with broccoli, purple onion and pasta. You can also use this sauce as a dip for raw veggies or as a sandwich spread.
New to the United States is the Flavis brand of low protein, low potassium and low phosphorous food products, which is great for those with chronic kidney disease. I used their tasty rigatoni pasta in this recipe. The pasta is made using corn starch and rice starch. However, with a blind taste test it is hard to tell the difference between Flavis pastas and regular pasta made from semolina flour. The flavis brand of pastas also contains a good dose of fiber from inulin, which is a type of fiber. Inulin is a prebiotic that is beneficial for the good bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract. Inulin is also naturally found in food such as: asparagus, onions, garlic and bananas.
While the pasta is boiling I saute the purple onion, broccoli and white beans which is added to the pasta once it is done cooking.
A great plant based protein I love cooking with is beans. Beans offer an array of nutrients including B-vitamins, protein, and fiber. Make sure to look for the no added salt canned beans and drain and rinse prior to using. This can help to cut back on sodium and potassium content for those having to monitor this nutrient in their diet.
For those with kidney disease following a low protein, phosphourus and potassium diet can be challanging. This line of pastas can allow for more flexibility in ones diet, especially when it comes to trying to fit in more fresh fruits and veggies. Flavis products including the rigatoni used in this recipe can be found at:https://www.flavis.com/along with other low protein, low sodium and low potassium and phosphorous products.
Having a plant based meal several times per week can be beneficial for overall health including those with chronic kidney disease, diabetes and overall disease prevention. So try out this easy and delicious recipe and add it your next weekly meal plan!
Rigatoni with Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Broccoli & White Beans
Author: Brittany Sparks
Makes: 12 (1 cup) Servings
*Kidney Friendly Recipe
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Total Time: 30 min
1 (17.6 oz) Package Flavis Rigatoni Dry Pasta, cooked according to package directions
1 (16 oz) Jar Roasted Red Peppers, Drained and Rinsed or 4 Roasted Red Peppers*See notes above for roasting your own peppers
2 Cloves Garlic
½ Cup Pine Nuts, Toasted
½ Tsp Black Pepper
½ Tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice (~1 Lemon)
Zest of 1 Lemon
½ Cup Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Fresh Basil, Chopped
3 Cups Broccoli Florets
1 Medium Purple Onion, Chopped
1 (15 oz) Can White Beans (No Added Sodium), Drained & Rinsed
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
¼ Tsp Garlic Powder
Pinch of Salt & Pepper (~1/4 Tsp)
¼ Cup Parmesan
1 Tbsp Fresh Chopped Parsley
Cook the pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile make the pesto sauce by placing the roasted red peppers, garlic, salt and pepper, olive oil and toasted pine nuts (see note below), in a food processor and puree until smooth.
Remove the sauce from the food processor into a small bowl. Stir in the chopped basil, lemon juice and lemon zest and set aside.
In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat and add the purple onion and broccoli florets. Cook stirring occasionally for 5-6 minutes or until the onions and broccoli begin to soften. Stir in the beans, garlic powder, salt and pepper and parmesan cheese and remove from heat.
Combine the cooked pasta, pesto sauce and veggie sauté. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and enjoy.
To toast the pine nuts place in a dry skillet over medium heat and stir frequently until they begin to release their oils and aroma, ~1-2 minutes.
This post is sponsored by Flavis. Their products are tasty and great for those with chronic kidney disease as they are low in protein, sodium, potassium and phosphorous! All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Nutrition by Brittany possible!