This pasta recipe has a wholesome balance of chickpeas, meaty black olives, sweet red onions, and tangy tomatoes. The lemon-arugula pesto is refreshing, nutty, and salty tasting from the Parmesan cheese. The lemon and arugula complement each other in a perfect meld of flavors. The spirals catch all the tasty bits of pesto and the olives do their job by trapping it inside. Biting into them you get a pleasant burst of sunshine from the lemon. This is a quick and easy side-dish that can even sub as the star. It has all the required elements. The leftovers are perfect for lunch and taste better with age. The pesto can be used on its own; hot or cold; with chicken, seafood, fish, veggies, and as a spread for sandwiches.
Lemon-Arugula Pesto Pasta Salad
8 oz. Celentani (Spiral) Pasta
1 can Black Olives, medium-size, pitted
1 can(15.5 oz.) Chickpeas/Garbanzo beans
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons fresh lemon peel
Lemon-Arugula Pesto Sauce(recipe to follow)
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
Cook your pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain and
run cold water over the pasta. Add to a large bowl.
Add your olives, chickpeas, tomatoes, red onion and lemon peel. Toss
together. Then toss again with Pesto beginning with half of your pesto and
adding as needed until evenly coated.
Season with salt and pepper.
If refrigerated for serving later, remove from fridge about 15 minutes before
to allow the pesto to loosen up a bit. Toss before serving.
Lemon-Arugula Pesto Sauce
1/2 cup walnuts
2 cloves garlic
1 and 1/2 cups Baby Arugula leaves
2 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan or Romano
1/2 cup Extra-Virgin Olive oil
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Toast the walnuts in a skillet on low for 5-7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
To the bowl of your food processor add the walnuts, garlic, arugula, and parsley. Pulse to chop.
Stream in the oil and lemon juice. Pulse constantly until nice and smooth.
Add cheese and pulse briefly to combine.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.