I know every magazine, website, and TV show has been sharing endless recipes for holidays meals…but what do we eat to get us there? I know I’ll be spending the next month and a half on a series of buses, trains, planes, and cars to get home for Thanksgiving and the holidays. And it is not fun to spend $12 on a mediocre burger at the T.G.I. Friday’s at the airport.
So why not make my own veggie-packed, just-as-yummy lunch to go? That’s what this recipe is all about.
Pesto Pasta Salad
This has all the components of an awesome meal: ready in 15 minutes; easily adaptable to whatever veggies you have on hand; healthy; well-rounded; oh-so- delicious; and easily packed up for your next long trip! By making the pesto without pine nuts you also save quite a bit of money, and you won’t have to worry about eating it near anyone who has nut allergies.
½ cup basil leaves
1 small garlic clove
¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ cup short whole wheat pasta (I used strozzapreti from Severino.)
½ cup baby spinach
¼ cup cherry tomatoes
5-6 kalamata olives
1/8 of a medium cucumber
Fill a medium pot with water and place it over high heat to boil. While it heats up, you can start the pesto. Place all the pesto ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
If the water is boiling, go ahead and add the pasta and 1 tablespoon salt.
Quarter the cherry tomatoes and chop the cucumber to be about the same size. Slice the olives and roughly chop the spinach, then place all the veggies directly into your Tupperware or other to-go container.
If the pasta is ready, strain it, stir a bit of olive oil onto it so it doesn’t stick, then place it in the refrigerator to cool for a few minutes.
Once the pasta is cool, add it to the container with the veggies, spoon in the pesto, and toss everything until it’s coated in the pesto. Enjoy on your next trip!
Note: I highly recommend using an extra rubber band around your to-go container. Unless you’re cool with having a purse full of pesto.