Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad with Walnut Pesto

Recipe by Better Homes & Gardens™

Yield: 16 ServingsRoasted Vegetable Pasta Salad with Walnut Pesto

Ingredients: 

  • 1 ½ cups coarsely chopped zucchini (1 medium)
  • 1 ½ cups coarsely chopped yellow summer squash (1 medium)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped red onion (1 large)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fennel bulb
  • ¾ cup coarsely chopped green sweet pepper (1 medium)
  • ¾ cup coarsely chopped red sweet pepper (1 medium)
  • 1 small eggplant (about 10 ounces), coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 ounces dried whole wheat penne pasta
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup torn fresh basil
  • ⅓ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Snipped fresh basil (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a roasting pan combine zucchini, summer squash, onion, fennel, sweet peppers, and eggplant. Drizzle with the 3 tablespoons oil; toss to coat. Roast for 45 to 50 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring twice. Transfer to a very large bowl; cool.
  2. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse, and cool slightly. In a large bowl combine pasta and the roasted vegetables.
  3. For pesto, in a blender combine garlic, the 1 cup torn basil, the cheese, and walnuts; cover and pulse with several on/off turns until chopped. With blender running, gradually add the 1/2 cup oil, the lemon juice, and the 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  4. Add the pesto to pasta-vegetable mixture, stirring gently to coat. Stir in cherry tomatoes. Season to taste with additional salt and black pepper.
  5. Serve at room temperature. If desired, sprinkle with additional basil.

Tips:

Walnuts are an inexpensive (and heart-healthy) alternative to using pine nuts in pesto.

Nutritional Facts: 

Per Serving: 203 calories, (2 g saturated fat, 2 g polyunsaturated fat, 7 g monounsaturated fat), 2 mg cholesterol, 177 mg sodium, 21 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 5 g protein.

Summer Tortellini Salad

Toss pre-made tortellini with chicken and an array of herbs for a palate-pleasing summer salad.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

Summer Tortellini Salad

Photo: Ralph Anderson; Styling: Rose Nguyen

Ingredients: 

  • 1 (19-oz.) package frozen cheese tortellini
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 1/4 cup sliced green olives
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sweet onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence*
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Garnish: fresh parsley sprigs

Preparation:

1. Cook tortellini according to package directions; drain. Plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain and place in large bowl. Stir in chicken and next 5 ingredients.
2. Whisk together mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, and herbes de Provence. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth. Pour over tortellini mixture, tossing to coat. Stir in salt to taste. Cover and chill at least 25 minutes. Garnish, if desired.

*1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning may be substituted.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Rosetto Cheese Tortellini.
Tuna Tortellini Salad: Substitute 1 (12-oz.) can albacore tuna, rinsed and drained well, for chicken. Prepare recipe as directed.
Shirley Wood, San Antonio, Texas, Southern Living
JULY 2007