Part of first lady Michelle Obama's healthy kids initiative involves a partnership with the Walt Disney Co., which just launched its multimedia campaign called Disney Magic of Healthy Living.
You and your kids will enjoy roaming around one of the websites, Disney.com/healthyfun. This vivid, entertaining site offers smart ideas for better eating and fitness -- with the added appeal of Disney stars Nick Jonas and Brenda Song inviting your kids to make good choices.
Dozens of appetizing recipes and photos are included, such as this easy pasta dish. Use the pesto also on sandwiches or as a dip. (Note: You can substitute almond slivers for pine nuts.)
-- June Naylor, Special to the Star-Telegram
Pasta with pesto and green beans
1 1/2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted lightly in a pan over medium heat until golden brown
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons grated Asiago cheese
12 ounces green beans, ends trimmed
2 (8-ounce) packages of fresh fettuccini (found in the refrigerated section of the supermarket)
1. Combine basil, pine nuts and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel-blade attachment (or a blender). Pulse until well chopped. While the machine is still running, slowly add the olive oil, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl one or two times. PurÃ©e until almost smooth. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the grated cheeses. Season with salt to taste. Set aside.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the green beans and cook for 5-7 minutes or until barely crisp tender. Add the fresh pasta and boil for 2-3 minutes more, or until pasta is cooked through. Drain beans and pasta, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid.
3. Add a couple of tablespoons of cooking water to the pesto to thin a bit. Add the pasta and green beans to the pesto and toss to coat. If necessary, add some of the reserved cooking liquid so that the sauce easily coats the pasta. Top with additional grated cheese and serve immediately.