Savory Pasta Salad with Lemon Zest
Serving Size / Yield
- one 12-oz. pkg. thin spaghetti
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 Tbs. lemon zest
- 3 C. baby spinach
- 1 bushel basil
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 C. olive oil
- 3/4 C. toasted pine nuts
- 1/3 C. roasted almonds
- 1 Tbs. dry Italian seasoning
- 1 1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 3/4 C. roasted red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 C. sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1 Tbs. salt
- salt and pepper to taste
Boil pasta according to package and add 1 tablespoon of salt to boiling water. Cook for about 10-12 minutes. Before draining the pasta, leave half of the water in the pot to keep pasta moist and to prevent pasta from sticking. When pesto is ready for use, drain off remaining water and pour pasta into a large mixing bowl.
Pesto: Add spinach, basil, garlic, and olive oil to blender, puree. Add pine nuts and almonds. Add 1 cup of Parmesan cheese and continue to puree all the ingredients. When well incorporated, add salt and pepper to taste.
Add pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red bell peppers, lemon zest and dry Italian seasoning to the cooked pasta and mix thoroughly. Add remaining cheese and continue to toss lightly. Place pesto salad on a decorative platter, drizzle with lemon juice, and toss lightly. Shave a few pieces of Parmesan cheese for garnish.