Long weekends call for pasta salads with the freshest ingredients! This recipe is GLUTEN FREE and typically I make pesto sauces with cashew nuts (cheese alternative), but since I was having my Italian in-laws over I decided to go the more traditional route using Parmesan cheese. It is simple and easy, and you can really have it hot or cold. I prepped it in the afternoon and left it covered on the counter so it was room temperature when I served it at night. I paired it with bbq’d salmon and it went really nice together.
Since I love getting in fibre and protein when I can, I mixed a gluten free corn blend pasta and a quinoa/chickpea pasta fusili – nobody will notice if you don’t tell them 😉
**TIP: You can make it in bulk and freeze the leftover sauce in a jar for a quick meal during the week
- 2 cups semi-packed fresh basil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbsp) *you can add more if you like
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 medium lemon, juiced (3 Tbsp)
- 1/4 cup reg or dairy free parmesan cheese (plus more for serving)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pinch sea salt (plus more to taste)
Bring 2 medium pots of water to a boil and add a pinch of salt and drizzle of oil. Once boiling add pasta of choice to each pot and cook according to package instructions. Then drain and set aside. Add a little olive oil to prevent sticking.
- Make pesto in a food processor. Add basil, garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, and salt and blend to combine. Pour in the olive oil until creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed. If too dry, add a little water. You want it thick and creamy but you can still pour it. **TIP: I pan fry my garlic in some water and a tsp of olive oil before blender as I find it easier on the digestive system.
Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more lemon juice, parmesan cheese or salt for saltiness or garlic for bite/spice. Set aside.
Add cooked pasta and sun-dried tomatoes to a mixing/serving bowl and top with pesto. Toss to combine. Then stir in your arugula and lemon zest.
Until Next Time,