Pasta + Veggies:
2 cups dry bow tie pasta
2 cups broccoli florets (cut from one large head of broccoli, thick stem removed)
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, sliced or diced
2 ounces black olives, sliced (or kalamata olives)
2 Tbsp capers (optional)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
Lemon Pepper Tahini Dressing:
3 lemons, juices + 1/2 tsp lemon zest (organic)
2 tsp maple or agave syrup (optional, adds hint of sweetness)
2-3 Tbsp tahini
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (use more or less according to tastes for richness)
1/4 tsp dried bell pepper
1/4 tsp dried onion or garlic
1/2 tsp fine black pepper
1/2 tsp chili pepper
1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
*all the spices in this dressing are adjustable to taste as well
Avo-Spinach Walnut Pesto:
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1 small avocado
1/3 - 1/2 cup pasta water (or warm water)
1/2 tsp chopped garlic or roasted garlic
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup baby spinach (1 large handful)
1-2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
salt to taste OR add 2 tsp white miso paste which is naturally salty
1. Start out by boiling some salted water on your stove and dropping your bow tie pasta.
2. While your pasta cooks, you can prep all your veggies and mix up your dressing in a side bowl.
3. About 2 minutes before your pasta is tender, drop the broccoli into the boiling water. This will blanch the broccoli to a tender state, but not overcook it. This is also easy because you do not have to cook it separately.
4. Drain your pasta and broccoli and transfer to a large mixing bowl. I like to now add in my nutritional yeast and toss a bit. Also add in your fresh veggies: peppers, onion, carrots. Also fold in the olives and optional capers.
5. Next you want to gently fold in the tahini dressing. Be careful to toss gently so you do not break apart all the bow-ties. After you have tossed the pasta and veggies and dressing do a taste test and salt to taste. You can also add more seasonings and nutritional yeast if you'd like. Cover bowl and allow the flavors to settle and marinate while you prep the pesto.
6. Pesto: Add all the ingredients to a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Taste test and salt to taste. As you blend - add more or less water to thin out the blend.
7. You have two options, serve the pasta now slightly warm with the warm pesto OR chill everything. Then you can serve both chilled or serve re-heated pasta with chilled pesto or re-heat both. Both the pasta and pesto taste yummy warm and cold - so you cannot really go wrong here.