Oh, summer.

meatball pesto veggie pasta 3

Somehow I always forget just how many zucchini you give us every year. And how the tomato plants are so weighed down with fruit that the vines just lay on the ground, giving into the weight of the ridiculously huge German Pinks.

walnut pesto

And summer definitely means basil. That’s one thing I wish I could grow well. Anyone have trouble getting basil to grow? Ours always turns out thin and sad looking, more like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree,  so I just buy mine from the farmer’s market when I need it.

But zucchini and tomatoes? We are set. As long as we have this yard or a garden somewhere else, I will never buy zucchini or tomatoes ever again. We’ve got more than enough.

zucchini and tomato

When Barilla contacted me to see if I’d like to try Barilla Plus, it was a no brainer. I already use their whole wheat/whole grain pastas for most dishes, and I was excited to try the Plus pasta. Their pasta has flaxseed, legumes and spelt along with the normal flour, and it’s just as good as their regular (non-whole wheat) pasta.  

Since we’re in the height of our tomato and zucchini season, I wanted to make a summer-filled dish to try the pasta. Zucchini, tomatoes, and pesto are always a good idea, especially for a quick weeknight meal.

I’d love to make my own pasta all the time, but I know it just won’t happen. I love using whole wheat pastas the best, but this Barilla Plus was really good, especially coated in a summery pesto, sauteed veggies, and meatballs.

meatball pesto veggie pasta 2

I mean…is pesto ever a bad idea? I don’t think so.

meatball pesto veggie pasta 1

Farfalle with Meatballs, Walnut Pesto, and Summer Vegetables

Makes: 4 – 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup finely ground cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 12 oz. farfalle or other short pasta
  • 1 batch walnut pesto (recipe below)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat the egg until the yolk is totally broken down.
  2. Stir the cornmeal, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, oregano, and pepper in with the egg.
  3. Add the ground beef to the egg and cornmeal mixture and gently mix them together until the cornmeal mixture is evenly distributed in the beef.
  4. Roll the ground beef into 1-inch rounds and place them on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until the beef is cooked through.
  5. While the meatballs are baking, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a palmful of salt and the farfalle pasta. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes until tender. Drain the pasta and set aside.
  6. While the pasta is cooking, place a skillet over medium heat. Halve and slice the zucchini into thin pieces and cook, in batches, in the skillet. Let the zucchini slices brown a bit on both sides before removing to a large bowl.
  7. After the zucchini is cooked, add your chopped tomatoes to the skillet and let them cook for 3-4 minutes in the pan. Pour the tomatoes over the zucchini in the bowl.
  8. When the meatballs are cooked, add them to the bowl with the zucchini and tomatoes and toss together.
  9. Toss 2-3 spoonfuls of the walnut pesto (recipe below) in with the meatball and veggie mixture and with the hot pasta. Serve together.

Basil Walnut Pesto

Makes: about 1/2 cup

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 cups fresh basil
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil

Directions:

  1. Add the basil, garlic, walnuts, and salt to the bowl of a food processor or blender.
  2. Pulse until the basil and walnuts are finely chopped.
  3. Let the machine run and pour in the olive oil until you get the texture you want.
  4. Keep leftover pesto in the fridge or freeze in ice cube trays for later.

Want to try Barilla Plus?

I’ve got one gift package from Barilla to giveaway that comes with 2 boxes of their pasta to try plus a $25 gift card to get ingredients and make up a new pasta dish for yourself!

To Enter: Leave a comment telling me your favorite summer pasta mix-in. Fresh tomatoes? Chopped basil? Something fun and different like fresh corn or eggplant? Spill it!

For extra entries:

Share your favorite pasta recipe on Facebook – leave the link or the actual recipe, and leave comment here letting me know you did.

Follow @Barilla on Twitter and let me know you did.

Follow @branappetit on Twitter and let me know you did

Good Luck! Contest only open to US residents. Also, Barilla sent me the pasta to try and a gift card to get ingredients to make my dish – all opinions, like always, are my own.

70 Responses to “Farfalle with Meatballs, Walnut Pesto, and Summer Veggies (giveaway!)”

  1. #
    1
    Patricia Crowley — August 31, 2012 at 2:33 am

    I love pasta with chopped tomatoes and diced cucumbers!

  2. #
    2
    Courtney @ The Granola Chronicles — August 31, 2012 at 2:51 am

    I love adding shredded zucchini to pasta in the summer!

  3. #
    3
    Courtney @ The Granola Chronicles — August 31, 2012 at 2:51 am

    I already follow you on Twitter. :)

  4. #
    4
    betsy — August 31, 2012 at 3:00 am

    I love adding fresh grilled tomatos.

  5. #
    5
    Molly — August 31, 2012 at 3:35 am

    i loveeee loveee loveee roasted eggplant in mine!! hope i win!

  6. #
    6
    lynn @ the actor's diet — August 31, 2012 at 5:29 am

    is there anything better than cheese?

  7. #
    7
    sara — August 31, 2012 at 9:59 am

    I love to add fresh tomatoes and grilled eggplant to my pasta dishes.

  8. #
    8
    sara — August 31, 2012 at 10:00 am

    I follow barilla on twitter

  9. #
    9
    sara — August 31, 2012 at 10:00 am

    I also follow you on twitter!

  10. #
    10
    bianca @ sweet dreaming — August 31, 2012 at 11:18 am

    I love mixing in bell peppers and zucchini!

  11. #
    11
    Lauren — August 31, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Ah, these look awesome! Pasta and meatballs is such a classic but I love the spin with the pesto.

  12. #
    12
    DessertForTwo — August 31, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I love pesto in the summer. No two ways about it.

    I love the meatballs in this dish! So creative!

    ps Prune the top of your basil to make it bushier ;)

  13. #
    13
    DessertForTwo — August 31, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I follow you on twitter

  14. #
    14
    DessertForTwo — August 31, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    and now I follow Barilla on twitter!

  15. #
    15
    Hope @ With A Side Of Hope — August 31, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    I love adding spinach and mushrooms to my pasta.

  16. #
    16
    Hope @ With A Side Of Hope — August 31, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    I follow you on twitter!

  17. #
    17
    Hope @ With A Side Of Hope — August 31, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    I follow Barilla on twitter!

  18. #
    18
    Allison — August 31, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    I love blending some avocado into a thick creamy sauce!

  19. #
    19
    Coco — August 31, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    I love mixing tomatoes and fresh basil with grilled shrimp, for a light pasta dish in the summer.

  20. #
    20
    Coco — August 31, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    I follow barilla on twitter.

  21. #
    21
    Coco — August 31, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    I already follow you on twitter!

  22. #
    22
    Melissa — August 31, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Sauteed eggplant and tomatoes are great additions to pasta!

  23. #
    23
    Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray — August 31, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Ooh my favorite summer pasta mix-in is totally heirloom tomatoes. Sauteed just a tiny bit with some garlic, so yummy. :)

  24. #
    24
    Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray — August 31, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    I follow you on Twitter.

  25. #
    25
    Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray — August 31, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    And I follow Barilla on Twitter, too.

  26. #
    26
    Mami2jcn — August 31, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    I love adding fresh tomatoes.

  27. #
    27
    Mami2jcn — August 31, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    I follow Barilla on Twitter–mami2jcn

  28. #
    28
    Laura — August 31, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Always cheese. Corn and eggplant are good too!

  29. #
    29
    kelly — August 31, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    I love adding feta! tangy goodness.

  30. #
    30
    Bev @ Bev Cooks — August 31, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Oh man. Pesto and tomatoes! UGH. with ANY pasta. As long as it’s in my mouth.

  31. #
    31
    Lindsay — August 31, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    I love to add fresh cherry tomatoes

  32. #
    32
    natalie@thesweetslife — August 31, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    My fave is definitely fresh herbs–usually basil, but I’m also loving rosemary! Our basil is always out of control but I don’t know the secret–I think we just get lucky :)

  33. #
    33
    jessica — August 31, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    i love adding sundried tomatoes!

  34. #
    34
    Deb Harris — August 31, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    One of my favorite things is to make a light pasta primavera just sautéed summer squash, zucchini, sugar snap peas & mushrooms with fresh herbs & grated Parmesan on top.

  35. #
    35
    Deb Harris — August 31, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    I follow you on twitter

  36. #
    36
    Deb Harris — August 31, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I follow @Barilla

  37. #
    37
    Jen — August 31, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    I’m a big fan of just about any vegetable in my pasta! Lately it’s asparagus and edamame!

  38. #
    38
    Jen — August 31, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    I just left you my favorite pasta dish on Facebook!

  39. #
    39
    Eileen — August 31, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Pesto is definitely never a bad idea! I love this simple pasta idea. :)

  40. #
    40
    Jen — August 31, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    And I already follow you in Twitter!

  41. #
    41
    Megan J. — August 31, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Kalamata Olives! I love olives! :) yum yum :)

  42. #
    42
    Kara D — August 31, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Fresh basil and tomatoes from my garden!

  43. #
    43
    Madeline — August 31, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    I shared one of my favorite pasta recipes on your FB – Pasta Puttanesca!

  44. #
    44
    Madeline — August 31, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    I like to add fresh spinach and a dash of creme fraiche to my pasta dishes in the summer!

  45. #
    45
    Madeline — August 31, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    I’m following Barilla on Twitter!

  46. #
    46
    Madeline — August 31, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    And I’m following you on Twitter too :)

  47. #
    47
    angela — August 31, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    i like it simple. olive oil and parmesan.

  48. #
    48
    Deanna G. — September 1, 2012 at 2:03 am

    I love tomato sauce & broccoli! :)

  49. #
    49
    Deanna G. — September 1, 2012 at 2:04 am

    I follow @BarillaUS on Twitter. (@calidreamin87)

  50. #
    50
    jacquie — September 1, 2012 at 2:11 am

    assorted fresh summer veggies – tomatoes, zukes, yellow squash, green beans, whatever is currently fresh – all sauteed together combined w/ the pasta and topped w/ some parm. yummy.

  51. #
    51
    Carol B — September 2, 2012 at 3:11 am

    Broccoli, cherry tomatoes, peppers, artichoke hearts and some Italian Dressing. With this type of pasta salad, you can add anything and everything!

  52. #
    52
    Carol B — September 2, 2012 at 3:11 am

    I started following you on Twitter. Twitter name is rizzogurl.

  53. #
    53
    Carol B — September 2, 2012 at 3:12 am

    I started following Barilla on twitter. My user name is rizzogurl

  54. #
    54
    Biz — September 2, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    My store sells baby mozzarella balls – so good with pasta! Hope you are having a great weekend Brandi! :D

  55. #
    55
    Christine — September 2, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    I love simple marinara with a sprinkle of parm. Yum!

  56. #
    56
    Laura Jacobson — September 2, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    I actually love to make a cold pasta salad with chicken, grapes, and mandarin oranges!

  57. #
    57
    Laura Jacobson — September 2, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    I Follow @Barilla on Twitter
    ilovemybeagle2

  58. #
    58
    Laura Jacobson — September 2, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    I Follow @branappetit on Twitter
    ilovemybeagle2

  59. #
    59
    Carol W — September 3, 2012 at 3:02 am

    we like to make grilled veggies and I always make extra so that I can add them to pasta for a dinner the next night. thanks

  60. #
    60
    Carol W — September 3, 2012 at 3:13 am

    I follow Barilla on twitter (at)carolwegs
    carolwegs at gmail dot com

  61. #
    61
    Carol W — September 3, 2012 at 3:14 am

    I follow you on twitter (at)carolwegs. thanks
    carolwegs at gmail dot com

  62. #
    62
    Shannon — September 4, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    a basil-avocado pesto with either fresh or slighly roasted tomatoes!! (maybe the slow-roasted plum variety after I try a batch)

  63. #
    63
    alaine elise — September 4, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    artichoke hearts :)
    family74014 at gmail dot com

  64. #
    64
    Julie — September 5, 2012 at 10:56 am

    cheese for me thanks

  65. #
    65
    laura ari — September 6, 2012 at 2:27 am

    My favorite mix in is fresh basil!

  66. #
    66
    laura ari — September 6, 2012 at 2:28 am

    I follow Barilla on Twitter
    @labfpto

  67. #
    67
    Amy M. — September 7, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    I loved adding julienned zucchini “noodles” to my pastas!

  68. #
    68
    Amy M. — September 7, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Followed @Barilla on Twitter!

  69. #
    69
    Amy M. — September 7, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Followed @branappetit on Twitter!

  70. #
    70
    Lana — September 9, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    I love making cold hostile pasta salads with edamame, bell peppers and purple onions with lemon and olive oil dressing!! It’s the perfect summer pasta salad!

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