This crowd-pleasing recipe ups the ante with a punchy pesto, salty cured meat and exciting vegetables. Cherries provide just the right amount of seasonal sweetness. For homemade Broccoli Pesto, see recipe for Pesto Soba Noodles with Chicken.
MAKES 6 SERVINGS.
1 pound gluten-free penne, fusilli or bow tie pasta
1/3 cup prepared pesto of choice
2 teaspoons cooking oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound sliced salami or prosciutto
1 cup canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup sliced roasted red pepper
1/2 cup sliced kalamata olives
1/2 cup marinated gluten-free artichoke hearts, sliced
1 cup pitted cherries, roughly chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
2 tablespoons good-quality balsamic vinegar or 1 tablespoon balsamic syrup
1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/3 cup cooking water. Place pasta in a large bowl and stir in pesto. As needed, stir in reserved pasta cooking water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to help pesto adhere to pasta.
2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add tomatoes and cook 2 minutes. Add garlic to skillet and continue heating until tomatoes have softened, about 2 minutes.
3. Arrange tomatoes, salami or prosciutto, beans, roasted red pepper, olives, artichoke hearts, cherries and cucumber over pasta. Drizzle on balsamic vinegar or syrup. Cover and keep chilled.
4. When ready to serve, carefully toss together all the ingredients in the bowl.
Each serving contains 641 calories, 21g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 34mg cholesterol, 757mg sodium, 93g carbohydrate, 8g fiber, 11g sugars, 19g protein, 56Est GL.
Contributing chef Matthew Kadey, RD is a registered dietitian and food writer. He is author of The Muffin Tin Chef (Ulysses Press), The No-Cook, No-Bake Cookbook (Ulysses Press) and Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports and Adventure (VeloPress).