I am so excited about so many things today. Bear with me. I’m feeling a bit “extra” on this Tuesday morning.
This cookbook is a must have. It is focused on working veggies into more of your meals seamlessly. Its not one of those obnoxious health cookbooks at all; it just offers a ton of ways to incorporate veggies into the foods you’re probably already making! Molly has thought of everything. She even works some veg into a margarita! SIGN ME UP.
Molly was kind enough to send me an advanced copy of the book, and I have been marveling at how gorgeous each photo is and how mouthwatering every recipe sounds. I don’t think I’ve ever been THIS excited to cook so many veggie-forward dishes. Side note: Molly just so happens to be one of the sweetest people I’ve encountered in food blogger land. She also works her ass off, and it shows. Her food is inspiring and her beautiful photography even more so! Whenever I need some inspiration, I visit her site. So much good stuff!
When flipping through the book, one recipe in particular jumped out at me immediately: arugula pesto pasta salad. Since we’re still in the throes of summer heat, this sounded so, so good to me. I love a pasta salad! And I love summer pesto! Pasta salads are often the unsung heroes of any summer gathering and are too often overlooked. Their simplicity is one of their greatest gifts.
This recipe starts with a super flavorful but easy arugula pesto. OMG. So good. I have always added extra greens to my basil pesto. I love a handful or two of baby spinach thrown into an otherwise standard pesto. No one ever knows it’s there, but it adds a little healthy oomph to things. It makes me feel a bit better about slathering it on all the things. So, again, this recipe really spoke to me in that way. Molly’s addition of arugula lends a spicy note to the pesto, and I’m forever a fan.
Cooked pasta gets tossed in the pesto and then more goodness goes in: crisp red bell pepper, buttery pine nuts, more arugula, and FETA CHEESE. It’s true. Feta makes everthing betta’. Sorry for the bad joke, but it just does! I get very excited when cheese is involved, especially feta.
I made this ahead and kept it in the fridge until we were ready to eat it (minus the 10+ forkfuls I shoved in my face after first mixing it up), and it held up wonderfully! Another reason to love pasta salad! It goes the distance.
Simple yet flavorful dishes like this make my heart so happy, and Molly really nailed this one.
Friends, get yourself a copy of this book! Not only will you be wowed by the sheer beauty of it, but you’ll be given tons of easy ideas on how to work more vegetables into your life without feeling overwhelmed at all. I cannot recommend it enough!
Next up on my list of Molly’s recipes to try: avocado tempura tacos (what.), creamy zucchini basil soup (yum!), and carrot sheet cake with chai cream cheese frosting (um, hell yes). Join me, will you?!Print
This pasta salad from Eat More Plants is nothing short of spectacular! Spicy arugula pesto coats every noodle and toasted pine nuts and crumbled feta make the flavors sing. A must make!
For the Pesto:
- 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1 cup packed baby arugula
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more as needed
- 1/3 cup roasted, salted pistachios
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, plus more as needed
For the Pasta Salad:
- 8 oz penne pasta
- Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
- 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 4 cups packed baby arugula
- 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
- 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
For the Pesto:
- Combine all the ingredients in a food processor.
- Process until the pesto is smooth. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
For the Pasta Salad:
- Cook the penne according to the package directions.
- Drain the pasta and add a little oil. Toss to coat the pasta in the oil and set it aside to cool.
- Once the pasta has cooled, transfer it to a large bowl and add the bell pepper, 2/3 cup of the pesto, arugula, pine nuts, and feta cheese.
- Toss the salad until combined. Serve the salad at room temperature or chill it in the fridge.
Recipe from Eat More Plants.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Dinner
Keywords: arugula pesto, pesto pasta salad, summer dishes, easy dishes, easy pasta, easy arugula pasta salad