Tired of the winter? In this case, it’s time for a dinner that will warm your soul and your palate! The lentil and green pea soup is a classic of the peasant cuisine. I really like to prepare it during the last days of winter: its warmth comforts me and green peas remind me that the spring is coming! In this case, I served the soup with crispy croutons, but if you prefer add rice, pearl barley, or spelt, cooked in the vegetable broth along with the vegetables.
The most famous Italian pesto is “Pesto Genovese” (basil, garlic, cheese, pine nuts and olive oil): Its goodness lies in its simplicity! But Pesto Genovese is not the only option. In Sicily, for instance, pesto is prepared with tomatoes, cottage cheese and almonds. Today I propose you a rich but healthy pesto version with eggplant and mint. Eggplants are baked in the oven with no added fat. The mint leaves are crushed with garlic and blended with the eggplant pulp. The Tuscan pecorino adds flavor and a pinch of Italian tradition. Finally, the zucchini cut into chunks are a tasty surprise in the sauce. You can prepare the eggplant pesto also a day or two in advance, in order to have a quick and super-tasty dish ready to serve. For the pasta, I suggest caserecce, a typical south Italian specialty whose shape is perfect to hold the sauce!