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Spring Pasta with Fresh Arugula Walnut Pesto

My husband is running the Boston Marathon on Monday and I could not be more proud! He has worked so hard training over the past several months and as great of a runner he was when he started training he has improved quite a bit and shown serious promise for race day.

I know how important diet is for athletic performance so I was sure to stock up on loads of lean proteins, fresh fruits and fresh vegetables at the grocery store this weekend. For this meal I decided to give him his fill of nutrients (as well as a few carbs!) to keep him healthy for race day.  He loves red peppers, peas, and mushrooms so I created this meal around those. I LOVE arugula and what could be better or more nutritious than combining it with omega-laden walnuts?! 

This meal was very delicious and enjoyable. The freshness of the arugula, vegetables, and chives was what stood out for me. I know it sounds dorky (but I’ll say it anyway): I have been cooking for years, yet still I continue to be amazed by the PUNCH and ZEST of the flavors in fresh vegetables and herbs.  Mother Nature is pretty incredible if you ask me. 🙂

Spring Pasta with Fresh Arugula Walnut Pesto:

  • 12 ounces of fresh pasta (I used Capone Foods Fresh Pasta  Spinach Linguine from the Whole Foods refrigerated section)
  • a few tablespoons of olive oil
  • 6 ounces of sliced portabella mushrooms
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1/2 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • fresh chives, roughly chopped

Pesto

  • 2-3 cups fresh baby arugula
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • 2/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheese (you could use fresh parmesan for a strong flavor, mozzarella for a mild flavor or anything in between)
  • salt to taste

Make the pesto:

In a food processor combine the arugula, garlic, and walnuts. Pulse until combined. Slowly pour in the oil while continuing to pulse. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula if necessary. Add the cheese and continue to pulse until desired texture is reached.  Add salt to taste.  Set aside.

Prepare vegetables:

Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to a medium pan over medium heat. Add the mushroom and a few pinches of salt. Cook stirring frequently until browned. Add the garlic, scallions, and chopped pepper. Continue to cook until peppers are tender but still crunchy.

Meanwhile boil pasta in salted water according to package directions.

Add peas to sauce pan and cook until warmed through. Then add  tomatoes. Stir to combine and let the heat soften the tomatoes, about 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper.

Drain pasta and return to pot. Add pesto to pasta and toss gently. Then add vegetables and gently toss again to fully disperse vegetables and sauce.  Garnish with fresh chives. Serve immediately.

A Kitchenbelle.com original!



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