While the water is coming up to a boil, chop the onion, finely chop garlic, slice mushrooms and slice the cherry tomatoes.
Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, spray with avocado oil spray or olive oil spray. Add the chopped onions, cook 3-4 minutes.
After 3-4 minutes, add the finely chopped garlic and cook 1 more minute.
When the water comes up to a boil, add the pasta and a pinch of salt. Stir well and set a timer to make the pasta al dente.
When onions and garlic are cooked, add the sliced mushrooms. Cook 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently.
After the pasta is cooked and the mushrooms are done, add the pasta to the skillet with the mushrooms and onions along with the pesto and sliced tomatoes. Stir well and serve hot.
When working with mushrooms, it’s best to wipe them down with a damp cloth or paper towel instead of running the mushrooms under water. This way you are not adding any additional water to the mushrooms that would have to cook out.
Reserve some pasta cooking water. I typically use a glass measuring cup to do this right before draining. I make it a habit before draining the liquid so that I always have it on hand if needed to adjust the consistency of a sauce. The starchy cooking liquid can help the sauce stick to the pasta better and can help to thin out sauces (especially pesto) to help it go further over the pasta.
For this recipe, I use 8 oz. of dry pasta and 1 cup of pesto. The pesto I use is quite watery and is made with both pesto and spinach so the flavor is not as intense compared to jarred pesto. You may want to start with ½ cup of pesto and some starchy cooking liquid if you are using a jarred pesto. If you are making your own from scratch you will likely need closer to that 1 cup range, but it depends on the recipe you are using.
If you have extra pesto on hand, you can use it in another recipe or freeze it for up to 2 months. I recommend freezing it in 2 tablespoon portions so you can defrost it and use it over tomato salads or to add flavor to a soup or tomato sauce.
Add your favorite protein to make this even more filling. Shrimp, shredded chicken, italian skillet chicken, italian chicken sausage or chickpeas would all be great additions.
Use zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash or hearts of palm pasta to make this a low carb meal.
Veggies: Spinach or baby kale, roasted red pepper, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, zucchini
Spice: Crushed red pepper flakes
Protein: Shrimp, shredded chicken, italian skillet chicken, italian chicken sausage, chickpeas, pesto salmon, balsamic tofu, chickpeas or white beans.
Fridge – store leftover pesto mushroom pasta in the fridge for up to 4 days. It reheats well in the microwave (1:30-2 minutes). You can also reheat on the stove over low heat with 2-3 tablespoons of water added. Be sure to cover the pot so that it reheats evenly without loosing too much moisture.
Freezer – If you want to freeze leftovers, I would omit the cherry tomatoes, as they will have a different texture when defrosted. Freeze leftover pesto mushroom pasta in individual servings using Soupercubes. Once frozen solid, transfer to a freezer safe bag and be sure to add a label with the name, date and use by date. Defrost in the fridge before reheating.