Step aside, mayo and macaroni. Sun-dried tomatoes and seasonal Swiss chard scream summer in this elevated pasta salad featuring delicate girasoli, a filled pasta named after its sunflower shape. Beyond basil, this pesto is a great way to enjoy chard – sharp Parmesan, rich pine nuts and a dash of tangy lemon help to mellow out any bitterness from the leafy green.
Want to switch up the flavour profile? Michelle Pennock, executive chef for the PC Test Kitchen has just the right tip for you to cook up this colourful dish. “Substitute the pine nuts with chopped toasted walnuts or almonds, if desired.”
Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad with Swiss Chard Pesto
Prep time:15 minutes
Cook time: 4 Minutes
- Half bunch Swiss chard (leaves and stems separated)
- 1 pkg (600 g) PC Splendido mozzarella and sun-dried tomato girasoli traditional Italian filled egg pasta
- 2/3 cup (150 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 cloves garlic
- 6 tbsp (90 mL) toasted pine nuts, divided
- 6 tbsp (90 mL) grated parmigiano reggiano hard-ripened cheese aged 24 months, divided
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped sun-dried tomatoes in seasoned oil
- Coarsely chop Swiss chard leaves. Set aside. Thinly slice Swiss chard stems.
- Bring 8 cups (2 L) lightly salted water to a boil in large saucepan. Add pasta and Swiss chard stems; cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally and reducing heat as needed to maintain a gentle boil. Drain. Spread out in single layer on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tbsp oil. Let cool completely; about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pulse together garlic and ¼ cup each pine nuts and cheese until finely chopped. Add Swiss chard leaves. With motor running, gradually drizzle in remaining ½ cup oil until smooth. Stir in lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Toss pasta mixture with ½ cup pesto in large bowl to coat. Reserve remaining pesto for another use. Garnish with tomatoes and remaining 2 tbsp each pine nuts and cheese. Serve at room temperature.
Nutritional information per serving: calories 460, fat 29 g (6 g of which is saturated), sodium 780 mg, carbohydrate 39 g, fibre 3 g, sugars 8 g, protein 13 g.