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.

Ingredients:
- 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.