It’s middle of summer and July is hitting us in full-force this week in South Texas, so it is all about keeping the house cool. That means not a lot of cooking going on, keeping things to the stove-top or not even that. Also it’s cookout time with the 4th right around the corner and this cold pasta salad is the perfect thing to contribute. Here is my vegan and gluten-free Summery Chimichurri Pesto Pasta Salad.
I was getting a little tired cooking and standing around in the kitchen chopping and stirring and all the other stuff that goes into making a week-filled meal. So I was thinking pesto – the easiest thing in the world since you just let the processor do everything for you. Barely any chopping depending on what you toss into the pesto. Then I was thinking, since I never do normal, what kind of pesto do I make. Something different, some type of flavor I have never done before. Chimichurri? An Argentinian flavored marinade? Okay, that works for me.
For the pesto just dump all ingredients into a high-powered blender or food processor and let ‘er rip. Blend until liquefied then let sit in the blender for about two hours. You want all the flavors to combine together so letting it sit out is very important. Especially since right after it is blended all you will taste is vinegar and heat. After a few hours? Everything just clicks together and all combines. It’s a little red oniony, so next time I won’t add the other half to the pasta salad. But, yum. After a few hours is up boil your water and cook your pasta until just tender. While that is happening slice up all your veggies and put into a large bowl. Mix it up with your hands to get all the sliced mushrooms and zucchinis separated. Dump the spinach on top then the drained pasta on top of the spinach. Pour about a 1/2-3/4 cup pasta water into the pesto and blend then pour over pasta and veggies. Mix everything and enjoy!
1/4 C Grapeseed Oil
1/4 C Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 Small Red Onion, quartered
1 Red Bell Pepper, seeded and rough chopped
1 C Parsley
1/4 C Cilantro
2 Limes, juiced
4 Cloves Garlic, halved
2 Tbsp Dried Oregano
1 Tbsp Black Pepper
1 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 C Fishers Walnuts, toasted
3 Zucchinis, sliced thin
1/2 Small Red Onion, chopped small
1 Red Pepper, chopped small
16oz Sliced Mushrooms
1 Bag Spinach
Ancient Harvest Quinoa Penne
1. In blender or food processor dump all pesto ingredients and process. Let sit out, in blender or processor, for at least two hours.
2. Boil water for penne.
3. While water is boiling and penne cooking, slice / chop all veggies and put in big bowl.
4. When penne is just done pour about 1/2 -3/4 c pasta water into blender. Drain rest of penne and dump noodles into bowl.
5. Blend pesto with water then pour over noodles / veggies and mix.