Monday, January 2, 2012
Green Pasta Salad
If you are like me, you make mental or actual lists in your head of new habits you plan to start at the beginning of the year. It seems winter normally makes me super lazy and I typically fall off the "health wagon". So here is a great pasta salad recipe that is healthy, easy and super tasty! I love make a big batch of salad like this that can be lunch for work the next day, a side option, or even a light dinner. I'm using broccoli, fennel and edamame as my green veggies, but really use whatever you like! I also am using whole wheat pasta because it's so good for you and has lots of good fiber. Speaking of fiber, did you know that most Americans don't get nearly enough fiber daily? We are suppose to consume at least 25grams per day, and most of us only consume 10-15 grams. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe!
1 box of whole wheat rotini (or any other short pasta)
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup frozen shelled edamame (aka shelled soy beans)
1/2 cup chopped fennel (it's sorta like celery, but shaped like a bulb and more flavorful)
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup italian parsley (basically a good handful)
1 cup fresh basil (a really good handful-I'm so exact huh?)
2 small cloves of fresh garlic-roughly chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated (and REAL) parmesan cheese
1/2-1 cup olive oil
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, salt water heavily and add pasta. In the meantime, have a large bowl of ice water near by. Add the broccoli florets for one minute to the pasta water (yes, with the pasta in it) and then use a large slotted spoon to fetch the broccoli out and place in ice water. This method is called blanching. Drain broccoli and throw in a large mixing bowl. Once pasta is almost done, add the edamame. Drain pasta and edamame together and rinse under cold water and then throw that in the broccoli mixing bowl. Toast pine nuts in a very small skillet over medium, shaking the pan frequently. They burn easily, so once you can smell them, they are done. Add them to the mixing bowl as well.
For the pesto, get your handy food processor out and add all the ingredients except the olive oil. Pop the top on and through the feed tube, slowly drizzle your oil in while the processor is whirling. You may not need all the oil or you may need a little more. You just want a nice, sauce like consistency.
Pour the pesto sauce over the pasta mixture and mix well. Taste to see if it needs more salt (remember, you can always add salt, you can't take away!) or pepper. I sometimes like to squeeze a little more fresh lemon juice too if it needs it.
Serve just like that, or over some fresh greens to boost up your veggies for that day. Some sliced tomatoes or even grape tomatoes would be lovely as well! Salute!