Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Yvette's Lemony Arugula & Basil Pesto Pasta Salad

Note: She's here!! My super talented Cousin Chef Yvette, also known as "Queen of the Pantry," (http://www.queenofthepantry.com/) has posted her first recipe! See below.

Easy Summer Salad - Lemony Arugula & Basil Pesto Pasta Salad

This salad is super quick to make, yet bursting with flavor from the fresh herbs and lemon! It packs a heart-healthy dose of potassium, zinc and selenium from the variety of nuts you can use.It will also keep a few days in the fridge. You can make a double batch of the pesto and spoon some of it into ice-cube trays to freeze for later use.You can also boost your healthy monosaturate intake even more by using Avocado, Macadamia or Flaxseed Oil instead of (or with) the olive oil.

- 1 lb Pasta (I love Tinkyada Rice Pasta - its easy to digest, especially if you're gluten-intolerant) http://www.tinkyada.com/
- 4 cups fresh Basil
- 4 cups fresh Arugula
- 1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (plus extra 2 T)
- ½ cup grated Pecorino cheese (or Parmesan)
- 1 cup nuts, toasted (Pine nuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews or a combination work great)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 Organic Lemon (zest and juice)

Optional Additions:
- 1 cup kalamata olives
- 1 red pepper thinly sliced
- 1 cup grape tomatoes halved

Directions: Prepare Pasta to package directions. Reserve one cup pasta water.In the bowl of a food processor, combine arugula, basil, nuts and cheese. With the motor running, add 1 cup olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified. Season with 1T or a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper, to taste. In a large pot or bowl, combine pesto with extra olive oil and as much reserved pasta water until it becomes a more sauce-like consistency. Add pasta, lemon zest and toss to combine. Serve, garnished with extra cheese.