Ina’s Garden…Pesto, Peas, and Pasta Salad


I volunteered to make a pasta salad for the teacher’s luncheon on Thursday.  As it happened, the luncheon coincided with our Ina’s Garden Linky…nice!  Don’t you love it when everything works out perfectly?  I knew Ina had a pasta salad, because I’ve actually made it in the past, but I wanted something a little different.  And, what a difference this salad is – pesto with the addition of spinach and lemon juice, along with baby green peas tossed with pasta – out of sight deliciousness! 
I boiled some gluten-free pasta so I could taste the dressing, and WOW!  It is amazing!  The addition of spinach and lemon juice really take my ordinary pesto over the top, and if you don’t have any pesto stockpiled in your freezer, store-bought pesto is a fine substitution.  I have included a link to Ina’s pesto recipe.
Now, you will notice that Ina’s recipe calls for mayonnaise.  I just couldn’t bring myself to add it, but I had no problem adding Greek yogurt – I love the tanginess!  By all means, just because I had qualms doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t use the mayonnaise – if you love mayonnaise – add it!  In fact, everyone raves about it in the reviews.  Whatever you choose to use, I caution you that this salad is addictive! 
Ina’s Garden is a monthly linky.  We post on the first Thursday of every month and the only stipulation is that your link be an Ina recipe.  Dessert, entrée, salad, appetizer – your choice.  We want to see those Ina recipes, so link up!  How easy is that? J
Pesto, Peas, and Pasta Salad
36 oz fusilli or rotini pasta
1/4 cup good olive oil
2 cups pesto (packaged or see recipe)
10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/4 cups mayonnaise (I used 2 cups Greek yogurt)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
1/3 cup pine nuts (totally forgot to add these)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cook the pasta according to package directions.
Drain, pour into a bowl, and drizzle on olive oil; set aside.
Puree pesto, spinach, and lemon juice.
Add the mayonnaise (or 2 cups Greek yogurt) and puree.
Add the pesto mixture to the pasta and stir in the Parmesan, peas, pine nuts, salt, and pepper.
Mix well, season to taste, and serve at room temperature.      
I’ve linked today’s delicious recipe to the following blogs – visit them and eat happy!



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