Spring is finally here! After a long winter of potatoes, starch, squashes and canned veggies, spring brings this new excitement to play around with fresh vegetables. Delicate, green and delicious. this Spring Pesto Pasta is really best in the spring/summer, but can also be done with a combination of canned veg. The combination with a fresh pesto is the perfect side dish or lunch plate you'll be craving all spring and summer long!
Don't get stuck using the same vegetables as I did! The fun part about this recipe is the ability to switch in and switch out veggie combos. Asparagus, peas and spinach have served me a fantastic combo, too!
SPRING PESTO PASTA
5 ounces fusilli (you can use normal pasta, or try Banza!)
½ ounce sun-dried tomato strips (not in oil)
1 ear corn (or 1/2 canned corn kernels, drained)
¼ pound grape tomatoes
3 tablespoons pitted kalamata olives
¼ cup basil pesto (see below)
¼ cup crumbled feta
FOR THE BASIL PESTO SAUCE
½ cup fresh basil leaves, packed
1/8 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan-Reggiano cheese (about 2 ounces)
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 oz chopped walnuts
1 garlic clove, minced (about a teaspoon)
pinch of salt, more to taste
pinch of freshly ground black pepper, more to taste
To Make the Pesto: Place the basil leaves and pine nuts into the bowl of a food processor and pulse a several times.
Add the garlic and Parmesan or Romano cheese and pulse several times more. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.
While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady small stream.
Do this slowly to allow for emulsification. Occasionally stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor.
Stir in salt and freshly ground black pepper, add more to taste.
To Make the Pasta: Cook your pasta according to the box directions. It is recommended to cook to al dente. Transfer warm pasta to serving bowl.
In a small bowl, soak the sun-dried tomatoes in very hot tap water until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry, then thinly slice.
Shuck the corn. Cut the grape tomatoes in half. Cut the olives in half.
To the cooked pasta, add the pesto and toss to coat. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes, corn, grape tomatoes, and olives; season to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer to individual bowls, garnish with the feta, and serve.