It’s been an entire year without pesto. That should be a crime. In fact, it must be in Italy. I keep pinning pesto recipes (pesto mashed cauliflower, pesto and grilled veggie sandwiches…you get the point) so the craving has certainly been on my mind. Pesto is extremely easy to make with just basil leaves, garlic, olive oil, romano cheese and some pine nuts. In the interest of time, here’s a decent store bought choice.
I scored a free box of gluten free pasta this week (courtesy of Wegmans), and when I needed a quick dinner to make, I knew it was going to be some version of pesto pasta salad. The resulting recipe was quick, simple, relatively inexpensive, and a new favorite in the house.
In a Pinch Pesto Pasta
Time: 25 minutes
Feeds: 4 people (or in this case, 2 huge servings with seconds and one small plate)
- 16 ounces pasta (I’d suggest whole grain for you gluten types or quinoa pasta if you’re g-free too)
- 1 pound chicken sausage (I used Amylu Organic Chicken Sausage, found at Costco)
- 1 large bag/five overflowing handfuls fresh spinach
- 4 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1 can rinsed and drained chickpeas
- 1/4 cup pesto (for the sake of time, I cheated and went store bought)
- Grill chicken sausage, turning frequently so they don’t burn
- Skewer tomatoes and place along outside of grill, furthest from the heat, turn frequently as well
- Cook pasta according to box directions
- While the above is cooking, rinse your chickpeas and de-stem your spinach.
- Place spinach leaves in bottom of colader
- In a large bowl, combine chickpeas, grilled tomatoes, and sausage (cut into bite sized pieces). Add half the pesto and mix well
- Drain pasta over spinach in colander (this will wilt the spinach for you, so simple!)
- Once drained, add spinach and pasta to other ingredients.
- Stir in pesto, add more to your liking, and enjoy!
You honestly cannot get much more simple than that. Whether you’re out to impress, feeding a large crowd or just one picky eater, this recipe will definitely do the trick (although you may want to double/triple the recipe). It’s also not very time consuming (about 25 minutes), which is the perfect solution if you’re entertaining or whipping up a dish for a potluck this summer.
Remember the more spinach, tomatoes and chickpeas you use, the healthier each serving will be. I’m always trying to get my family to eat more veggies, but we had zero leftovers, so you could say it worked! I’ll be making this again in Long Island next week, it was THAT good. Come to think of it, I’m not certain the good people of Italy would be too hot on gluten allergies either. Good thing I’m not italian.