It's not really artichoke season, but it's a year round love affair for me! As summer winds to a close, I still have tomatoes ripening on the vine, and my basil is at the ready in it's clay pot, so I felt one last Artichoke Pesto Pasta Salad was in order. This is a super easy, and super healthy dish.
2 cups basil, packed
2 cans or jars artichoke hearts (packed in water), drained and quartered (reserve juice)
2-5 cloves garlic
2-3 tbsp. nutritional yeast or Parmesan cheese
4 tbsp. reserved juice from artichokes
2 tbsp. lemon juice, salt and pepper, to taste
16 ounces whole wheat pasta, cooked (I like to use Rotini)
3 large, ripe tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts, coarsely chopped
2-3 TBS extra virgin olive oil (optional)
METHODOLOGY: Cook the pasta to "al dente". Drain, and rinse under cold running water to room temp. While pasta cooks: Place the basil and 6 artichoke hearts (12 quarters), plus 2 TBS artichoke liquid in a food processor, and pulse to coarsely chop. Add the garlic, nutritional yeast or Parmesan, remaining artichoke liquid broth, and lemon juice, and olive oil (if desired) and process until it becomes a thick paste. Add salt and pepper to taste. In a serving bowl, combine the cooked pasta with the pesto and blend well. Add the remaining artichoke hearts, the tomato, and the pine nuts and toss. Serve at room temperature.
Makes 8 BIG servings. Keeps well for several days!
|magnet from mcyarnpants|