If you need a pepped-up pasta dish, try today's recipe.

Peppy Pesto Pasta

8 ounces tricolored pasta, such as orzo or short fusilli (twists)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup already-peeled baby carrots

1 package (8 ounces) already-sliced mushrooms

2 tablespoons commercially prepared pesto

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Bring 2 1/2 quarts of unsalted water to a boil in a covered 4 1/2 quart pot. When the water reaches a rapid boil, add the pasta and cook according to package directions until firm-tender.

2. Heat the oil on medium in a 12-inch nonstick skillet. Peel and coarsely chop the onion. Cut the carrots into 1/4-inch slices and add them to the skillet. Raise the heat to medium-high.

3. Add the mushrooms to the skillet and cook until they release their liquid, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently. Remove the skillet from the heat until the pasta is ready.

4. Drain the pasta and pour it into the skillet with the vegetables. Add the pesto and Parmesan, and stir well to coat the pasta. Serve at once. Serves 4.

- From Alicia Ross with Beverly Mills

- Each serving contains 378 calories, 12 g fat, 53g carb, 329mg sodium, 11mg cholesterol.