Orecchiette & Portabellini Pesto Salad
A unique short pasta dish with pesto, asparagus and edamame beans.
For the pasta
- 500 g orecchiette or similar short pasta
- 100 g asparagus
- 100 g edamame beans shelled
- 100 g fresh peas shelled
For the pesto
- 2 cups basil leaves well packed
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds, cashew nuts or pine nuts
- ½ cup/40g parmesan cheese grated
- 1 clove garlic smashed
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 lemon zest
- 125 ml olive oil
For the main
- 500 g portabellini mushrooms, sliced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Fresh dill, for serving
- Pink peppercorns, for serving
For the pasta
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta according to package instructions. Keep it nice and al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of pasta cooking water. Strain out the pasta and allow to cool. Using the pasta water, blanch the vegetables. Refresh them in ice cold water and drain. Keep them bright green with a good bite. Slice the asparagus so it mixes well with the peas and edamame beans.
For the mushrooms
Just before serving, cook the mushrooms. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the sliced portabellinis and cook until golden brown. Season well with salt and pepper. Add the mushrooms to the pasta salad. Toss to mix well. Plate into a large bowl or onto a serving platter. Scatter with fresh dill sprigs and crushed pink peppercorns. Serve and enjoy!