Penne Salad with Pecan Pesto
If sugar snaps aren't available, substitute snow peas or green beans. For an even more substantial dish, add diced part-skim mozzarella cheese.
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/3 cup (not oil-paked) sun-dried tomatoes
  • 8 ounces penne pasta
  • 1-1/2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons pecan halves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch squares
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 8 ounces sugar snap peas, strings removed

1. In large pot of boiling water, cook garlic for 2 minutes to blanch. With slotted spoon, remove garlic. Add sun-dried tomatoes and cook 2 minutes, or until softened. Remove with slotted spoon and when cool enough to handle, thinly sliver.

2. Add penne to pot and cook according to package directions; drain and transfer to large bowl.

3. Meanwhile, in food processor, combine garlic, basil, Parmesan, 1 teaspoon of oil, pecans, and salt and process to a smooth puree. Add 1/3 cup of water and process until creamy. Pour dressing over pasta, tossing to combine.

4. In large nonstick skillet, heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat. Add peppers and cook, stirring frequently, for 4 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Add mushrooms and sugar snaps and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes or until sugar snaps are crisp-tender.

5. Add sugar snaps to bowl with pasta. Add sun-dried tomatoes and toss to combine. Serve at room temperature or chill for up to 8 hours.

Nutritional Information
Per serving: 331 calories, 7.7g total fat, 1.9g saturated fat, 3.9g monounsaturated fat, 1.2g polyunsaturated fat, 7g dietary fiber, 14g protein, 53g carbohydrate, 5mg cholesterol, 506mg sodium.
Good source of: beta-carotene, folate, iron, selenium, thiamin, vitamin C.

Date Published: 09/19/2005 > Printer-friendly Version

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