I'm calling this Engagement Pasta Primavera because it was inspired by this dish we had at my engagement party. That whole day was a whirlwind but Jon and I both could not get over how good the pasta primavera was.
I think the best part is the pine nuts. Pine nuts are super underrated and I forget how good they are especially in a pasta salad recipe like this one.
Inspo vs Recreation.
I definitely tweaked the original, using a pesto base, more in season veggies, adding arugula and chicken for bulk, etc. but the take home is the same... THIS IS SO SO GOOD!
I'm not saying expect a ring every time you make this recipe... but I'm not saying not to either... I mean it's only necessary to thank the chef in some way when it's this good.
Engagement Pasta Primavera
8 Servings | Cook time: 15 minutes
Notes: The most delicious pasta salad you’ll ever eat. Packed with veggies, protein and healthy fats!
8 oz whole wheat penne
1 1/2 cup peas or ~100g
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 cups or ~100g red onion, diced
3 cups or 300g asparagus (about 1 small bushel), ends cup off and the rest cut into thirds
1/4 cup shallots, diced
6 oz fat free feta cheese
For serving: 8 cups arugula
Optional: 24 oz grilled chicken, diced
4 servings spinach pesto
If serving with chicken, grill chicken. I like to season liberally with salt and pepper and sear both sides for 2-3 minutes each on a cast iron skillet before transferring to a preheated 350F oven to finish cooking (about 15-20 minutes or until an internal temperature of 165F).
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Once boiling season with salt and add pasta, stirring occasionally. Cook according to package. Strain and set aside reserving 1/4 cup pasta water.
Spray a large sauté pan with nonstick olive oil spray and add chopped asparagus. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5-7 minutes or until tender. Add pine nuts, shallots, peas and red onion to pan. Cook another 3-5 minutes until the nuts toast and veggies are soft.
Turn the heat off and add pesto, pasta, cherry tomatoes and feta cheese. Toss everything until well combined. If needed add pasta water for consistency.
Option to serve as is or tossed with arugula and/or topped with diced grilled chicken.
Screenshot/Printer Friendly Version:
Link for spinach pesto recipe, here.
Nutrition Facts are provided as a guideline only. Exact nutrition will depend on quantity, brand and ingredients used.