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Spring Vegetable & Greens Pasta with Chive-Kale Pesto Dressing

Ingredients

For the Salad

  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas which can be steamed or even added to the pasta pot for a minute or two before the pasta is drained - you just want to warm them
  • 6 medium asparagus or barely 3/4 cup, trimmed, lightly steamed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1-2 slices of red onion minced
  • 1/2 red pepper chopped
  • 2 cups of brown rice pasta spirals

For the Dressing

  • 2 oz . kale or about 1 3/4 cup of packed, rinsed and thick stalks trimmed
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup almonds soaked for 2-3 hours beforehand
  • 1 oz . fresh chives - you can use up to half of this if you prefer a more subtle or about 3/4 cup of packed leaves, less pungent spiciness
  • 1/2 to 1 garlic clove depending on how peppery you like it
  • 1/2 cup olive oil it is worth using a higher quality one!

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta until al dente. Once the pasta is cooked, reserve a cup of the cooking water and set aside. Rinse the pasta in cold water and add to a salad bowl.
  2. Add the remaining salad ingredients.
  3. To make the dressing, add all ingredients to a food processor or high-powered blender. Depending on how thick the mixture is, add 3-6 tablespoons of reserved cooking water to thin. The texture should be fairly loose but still thick like a pesto.
  4. Pour the pesto dressing over the salad and mix thoroughly to combine. You can add an additional 1-2 tablespoons of cooking water if the dressing is not mixing smoothly.