When the weather starts to get warmer in the summer, I always feel like making more varieties of fresh, cool salads. My husband tells me that it’s hard to get full on a salad without either meat or carbs. As a good hostess, I try to please my food tasters with my personal flare. Since hubby loves pasta (and especially penne), I decided to serve a different type of salad. I called it a salad disguised as pasta.
The bitterness of the arugula is nicely complemented by the pine nuts and cheese. It turned out to be a beautiful, colorful pasta salad that I transformed into a meal by adding a healthy portion of chicken. Happy summer cooking!
12 oz large pasta (shell or penne)
For the arugula pesto
1 1/2 oz baby arugula leaves
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
Cook pasta al dente as per package instructions in a large saucepan of boiling salted water to cover. Drain and set aside.
Make the arugula pesto. In a food processor, process the arugula leaves, pine nuts, cheese, lemon rind, and juice until finely chopped. With the motor operating, gradually add olive oil in a thin steady stream. Process until pesto is smooth.
In a large bowl, combine the pasta and rocket pesto. Serve as is, or with salad greens and shredded chicken.