I am in the mood for spring and I have way too much pesto in the freezer. I have spent the past few days cooking quintessential spring food for my friends Paul and James who are the proud parents of newborn twins. While in the middle of making a gluten indulgent pasta salad I decided to make some gluten-free for myself. I would have preferred a spiral pasta to the macaroni shaped pasta I had on hand. This recipe is quite versatile, you can add grilled chicken, salmon or shrimp if you want. The directions below serves 12, but the recipe is very forgiving so scale back as you need!
1 1/2 pounds GF pasta (for a fun gluten version use a combination of fusilli and bow-tie!)
1/8 cup good olive oil
1 1/2 cups homemade pesto
1 10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 cup good mayonnaise
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
1/3 cup pignolis, toasted
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Cook the gluten free pasta according to the package directions. I also subtract a few minutes to insure the pasta does not get over cooked. GF pasta will fall apart and turn into a pile if you over cook it! If you use more than one kind of pasta, cook them separately. Drain the pasta and toss with olive oil. Cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, puree the pesto, spinach and lemon juice. Add the mayo and continue to process.
Add the pesto mixture to the cooled pasta, then add the parmesan, peas, pignolis, salt and pepper. Mix well, season to taste and serve at room temp.