Mediterranean Pea Pesto Pasta Salad
Ingredients for 6 hearty servings
- 12oz (454g) chickpea penne pasta (or another legume or wheat pasta)
- 1 large zucchini, chopped into large 1-inch chunks
- 1 large yellow squash, chopped into large 1-inch chunks
- 1 medium red onion, cut into large chunks
- 1 1/2 lb chicken breast (tenders)
- 2 tablespoons seasoning of your choice (or your choice of herb blend)
- pinch of sea salt & pepper
Pea Pesto Sauce
- 1 cup arugula, tightly packed
- 1 cup fresh cilantro
- 1 cup fresh parsley
- 2/3 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 2/3 cup grated parmesan
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup walnuts (or pine nuts)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- juice from 1 lemon (optional but recommended; if you omit, replace with a few tablespoons of water)
- sea salt & pepper
- water as needed to thin out sauce
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup frozen fresh peas, thawed
- 1 cup chopped basil
- sea salt & pepper to taste
- Cook pasta according to the instructions provided, then set aside.
- Set oven to 420F. Place zucchini, squash and red onion on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Lightly spray with avocado or olive oil, then sprinkle on sea salt & pepper. If you like, you can also use. Roast in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the edges of the veggies have been “slightly” burned.
- Season chicken breast (tenders) with any seasoning, then set a nonstick skillet on HIGH heat. Once hot, add the chicken and cook through, about 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool down BEFORE cutting into 1-inch chunks.
- In a blender, add ingredients for the pesto. Pulse blend until well mixed and season to taste with sea salt & pepper (and lemon). To thin it out, add tablespoons of water until you reach desired consistency.
- Bring everything together. In a large mixing bowl, add the cooked, cooled and drained pasta, along with about 1/3 of the pesto sauce (as a start). Mix and fold together well using a spatula. Then add the remaining ingredients, chicken and roasted veggies and gently fold everything together.
- Add more pesto as needed and/or reserve the rest for individual servings OR for other uses (sandwich spread, etc).