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Gluten-Free Pesto Caprese Pasta Salad

Ancient Harvest Gluten-Free Pesto Pasta Salad
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Created by Ashley at EdiblePerspective.com

Fresh flavored gluten-free pasta salad.

Enjoy the fresh flavors of this gluten free pasta salad featuring Ancient Harvest™ Supergrain Pasta® Penne pasta. Serve as a main entrée or side dish. Omit the cheese for a vegan option.

Prep Time: 20
Total Time: 30

Ingredients

  • For the Pasta Salad:
  • 1 (8 oz) package Ancient Harvest Organic Gluten Free Pasta Penne, cooking water reserved
  • 2/3 cup chilled Kale Basil Pesto
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Fresh mini mozzarella balls
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh basil, to top
  • For the Kale Basil Pesto:
  • 1/4 cup raw walnuts
  • leaves from 2 1/2 large kale stems, (or 5 small stems)
  • 1 medium garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Add pasta, stirring occasionally, for 6-9 minutes until just tender. Avoid overcooking.
  3. Drain the pasta and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water in bowl. Run pasta under cold water to halt the cooking process and chill.
  4. Place the pasta back in the pot and stir in the desired amount of pesto, adding 1 tablespoon at a time of cooking water to help spread. You will most likely only need 2-4 tablespoons of water.
  5. Slice desired amount of tomatoes and mozzarella in halves or quarters and mix into the pasta.
  6. Prepare the pesto by preheating your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Place walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 8-12 minutes, stirring once, until fragrant and light golden brown. Let cool.
  7. While the walnuts are toasting, place about 5 inches of water in a large pot and bring to a boil.
  8. Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl and set aside.
  9. While waiting for the water to boil, de-stem the kale leaves and tear them into a few pieces. Discard the stems.
  10. Stir kale leaves into the boiling water for 30-60 seconds. Remove kale with a strainer or large slotted spoon and place directly into the ice bath (to stop the cooking). Drain water and thoroughly pat kale dry.
  11. Place garlic in a large food processor (7-11c capacity works well) and turn on until minced. Scrape the sides and add the walnuts, kale, basil, parmesan, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Turn the processor on until kale is well chopped and all ingredients are incorporated.
  12. Slowly stream in the olive oil while pulsing the food processor until the pesto reaches your desired consistency. (Add more oil for a thinner consistency) Taste and stir in more salt and/or pepper if needed.
  13. Add directly to cooked pasta, or scrape contents from the processor into an airtight container and keep refrigerated 4-5 days.
  14. Pasta salad recipe best when chilled for about 1-2 hours in the fridge but fine to serve immediately. Store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Add a good drizzle of olive oil to re-moisten before eating.
Servings: 6