Last weekend I attended yet another potluck dinner. Something about the summer just screams “potluck,” I guess. For this one, I threw together not one but two pesto pasta salads: a regular one made with semolina pasta and olive oil, to share with the crowd, and a fat-free, healthier version made with whole wheat pasta for myself.
In my healthier version, I used canned artichokes to replace the olive oil and omitted the nuts I normally use, and though I think blending a quarter cup of nuts into the sauce would have made it richer and more flavorful, it was still very tasty for such a super-light pesto. If you’re looking for a pesto with a little more richness, I recommend either the Asparagus Pesto Pasta Salad that I blogged about last month. You can find all of my many pesto recipes here: Pesto Recipes.
Also, be sure to check out my fresh basil recipes here.
Artichoke Pesto Pasta Salad
- 1 cup basil packed
- 1 can quartered artichoke hearts packed in water
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoon vegetable broth
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- salt to taste
- 8 ounces whole wheat pasta cooked
- 1 large tomato diced
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts optional
Place the basil and 3 artichoke hearts (12 quarters) in a food processor, and pulse to coarsely chop. Add the garlic, nutritional yeast, vegetable broth, and lemon juice, and process until it becomes a thick paste. Add salt to taste.
In a serving bowl, combine the cooked pasta with the pesto and blend well. Add the remaining artichoke hearts, the tomato, and the pine nuts and toss. Serve at room temperature.
Nutritional data below excludes pine nuts. With pine nuts: 366 Calories (kcal); 6 g Total Fat; (13% calories from fat); 19 g Protein; 70 g Carbohydrate; 116 mg Sodium; 19 g Fiber.