Pestoey. I guess even without explanation to this word I dug from my own introverted vocabulary, anybody will understand what it probably means. But just in case I'm wrong, I called it pestoey veggy spaghetti because it can be the usual garden fresh spaghetti but instead of tomato sauce, I drowned the stir-fried vegetables in my usual pesto sauce.
I learned this from my mother-in-law when I went home to their place one time. I just saw her stir-frying shimeji mushrooms then tossing in the left-over salad (consisting of lettuce, broccoli, red and orange paprika). I went to the toilet for a while and when I went out, lunch was ready and it was a grassy green spaghetti-- not the tomatoey sauce I was expecting!
So I just sat there, said "itadakimasu!" and swirled my fork for my first bite. It was my and my husband's first time to eat this kind of spaghetti sauce, and we were both captivated! It was so delicious I just wanted more.
Ever since then (about 2 months ago), my husband has been requesting this sauce at least once a week.
broccoli, 70 g (cut into small bite-sized pieces)
paprika, 70 g (cut into strips)
eggplant, 100 g (cut into strips)
lettuce, 70 g (cut into strips)
ajinomoto (to taste)
black pepper (to taste)
Italian seasoning, about 1/2 tsp
olive oil, 2 tbsp
water, 1 1/2 tbsp.
Put pan over medium high fire. Once it's hot, pour in olive oil. Toss in eggplant after a few seconds. Season with ajinomoto, black pepper and Italian seasoning. Mix well.
While the eggplant is cooking, make the pesto sauce. Toss in all the ingredients (basil, olive oil, salt and pepper, Italian seasoning, cashew) into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside.
Go back to the eggplant and mix it. Toss in the broccoli once the eggplant is cooked until lightly browned.
After 2 minutes, toss in the paprika and stir-fry for not more than one minute.
Add lettuce and mix well. Turn off heat after 15 seconds.
Pour in the pesto sauce to the stir-fried vegetables, doing your best to scrape them off the blender. Then, add water to the blender, shake it then pour it over the vegetables. Mix well.
Either top it over your pasta or mix the pasta with the vegetables in the pan before serving! Add Parmesan cheese if you're a hardcore fan.
LEFT: Here's when I brought it to school for lunch. I like it really pestoey so I scooped an extra overflowing teaspoonful to the middle of my pasta bento. Yum!
Tips and tricks
Grow your own basil plants! Basil here is very expensive. But a month and a half after we planted 8 basil seeds, we've been harvesting more than enough every week. I've been eating my favorite basil pesto spaghetti, pesToasts, pesTomato spaghetti and Christmas pasta quite well. Just FYI, basil is good for migraine too!
Above is my veranda garden where I have 8 basil plants, asparagus, chili pepper, trying-to-grow snack-pine (a kind of pineapple), rosemary, 8 kinds of cacti and a silver-leaf plant.