Get ready for your next summer BBQ or dinner party with this Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta Salad with Kale and Artichokes. Balance your carbs with veggies without sacrificing on flavor. No one needs to know the recipe is gluten-free too!
For some reason pasta gets a bad rap (or rep? Urban dictionary failed me…). Especially in the healthy living world, pasta and any kind of carb-based meal tends to be viewed as evil. Unless of course you’re carb-loading for a marathon.
I really don’t get it though. Our bodies need carbs and you certainly won’t derail your health goals by eating a bowl full of pasta. Stuffing it full of kale doesn’t hurt either.
Pasta is another one of the foods that I eat all the time but never find myself posting on the blog. If I’m being honest, I was kind of scared of how you’d react. In the spiralized-veggie, give me ALL THE SALADS obsessed blog world (dear spiralizer- don’t take that personally, I still love you), I expect most of you aren’t looking for pasta dishes.
Well I hope this post changes your mind.
When C and I were living in NYC we used to have “pasta-Sundays” almost every week. It was the perfect opportunity for us to throw everything but the kitchen sink into a delicious pasta-based meal. We also always saved our precious truffle oil for Sunday Pasta dates.
I’ve since gone gluten-free and subsequently subbed out whole-wheat pasta for the gluten-free variety and I don’t think C’s even noticed. Although apparently the only thing more evil than pasta in the healthy living world is GLUTEN-FREE PASTA.
Again, an association which I don’t think is deserved at all.
When people ask me if I’ve gotten “used to” the taste of gluten-free foods I have to explain to them that if something tastes “gluten-free” it’s probably because it isn’t made well. If done right, gluten-free foods can taste just as good, if not better than the original.
That’s how I feel about Catelli’s Gluten-Free Pasta. I tried a sample of it years ago and since then it’s become my go-to pasta. I love that it’s made entirely of whole-grains from brown rice, white rice, corn and quinoa. It really does taste great and I swear no one will know it is gluten-free (and I’m not just saying that, it really tastes identical!).
It also comes in 4 different shapes: penne, fusilli, spaghetti and macaroni. Am I the only person who is weird about pasta shape? I will always prefer penne over any other shape. I know technically they’re all the same but penne feels like my first love (I swear I remember eating it in my high chair with my hands) and it will forever be my first choice.
The trick to turning pasta into a meal is using lots of veggies (hello kale and artichokes!) and when necessary adding in protein. We actually topped it with some clean chicken sausage to round-out the meal but I opted to keep this dish vegetarian for my veggies in the house. I kind of envision this being a potluck classic and I never bring meat to a potluck because you never know who might be vegan/vegetarian/kosher. But I have no hesitations bringing all things GLUTEN-FREE, especially when no one will ever know!
For the Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
- 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes (stored in OLIVE oil)
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 1/4 cup reserved olive oil from Sun-dried tomato jar (or any olive oil)
- 2 T pine nuts
- 1/4 cup parmesan (or nutritional yeast if vegan)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 cup of water
For the Pasta Salad
- 1 box of Catelli gluten free penne (approx 4 cups)
- 3 cups artichoke hearts (stored in water), chopped
- 1/2 head of kale, stemmed and chopped into small pieces
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Add stemmed and chopped kale to a colander and place in the sink.
- Cook pasta according to instructions.
- When finished, pour pasta and water over kale to wilt kale.
- Add kale and pasta back to pot and top with artichoke hearts.
- Place all pesto ingredients into a blender or food processor and process until well combined.
- Add pesto to pot and stir so pasta, artichoke hearts and kale are coated.
- Top with salt and pepper.
- Store in refrigerator to cool and allow flavours to meld for at least 1 hour.
- Serve warm or cold.
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Catelli® Gluten Free pasta. All opinions and creative control are entirely my own.
Are you pro or anti-pasta? Do you think foods can taste “gluten-free”?
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