It’s finally feeling like spring! The trees are in full bloom and the temperature has been getting over 60. Not every day, but the important part is winter has officially ended. Of course this morning I had to scrape frost off my windshield, but minor detail. If my kale seedlings can handle the weather (little guys are sitting on my deck getting ready to go in the ground tomorrow!!), then I’m ok with it. Gardening season is right around the corner which means fresh home-grown produce is within site. I seriously LOVE gardening and vegetables. Of course my jobs get in the way of my gardening time. Maybe I should have my clients help dig up the garden, carry bags of dirt, and plant for their workouts? It’s probably one of the best workouts around AND super productive! As a fitness professional, I’d say that’s a win-win 🙂
So back to this dish. Pure heaven. Green goddess pasta. Food for the soul. There is something super comforting about pasta, and ever since I gave up your traditional wheat pasta there has been a void in my life that I haven’t been able to fill. I recently started eating sprouted grains, therefore sprouted flour pastas, but I found they are not quite the same as your regular pasta. A few weeks ago I discovered Banza pasta and haven’t looked back! It’s a pasta made out of garbanzo bean flour making it high protein and high fiber, so nothing not to love. And to my delight it has the perfect pasta texture! I swear you could fool anyone with this stuff. It looks, feels, and tastes like regular white pasta but it’s so much better for you. Yes, I’m a bit of a health freak 😉
Not only is the pasta itself super healthy but it’s filled with all my favorite spring veggies; asparagus, peas, broccoli, and mushrooms, while dressed in a tantalizingly delicious almond-chard pesto. Using swiss chard to make pesto yields a very light, slightly sweet sauce that I love to use when I want the flavors of the actual dish to shine through. Basil pesto, kale pesto, and others I make have a much stronger flavor that are delicious in their own right, but tend to mask the brightness of the fresh seasonal veggies. Also it’s sortave badass to say you made pesto out of swiss chard. One of the best conversations starters, you’re welcome.
Grain-Free Spring Primavera Pasta with Almond-Chard Pesto
1 box banza pasta (or 8oz pasta of choice)
1 lb broccili florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 lb baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thin
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 cup spring peas (frozen or fresh)
1 bunch asparagus, cut into bite sized pieces
1 recipe Almond-Chard Pesto (recipe follows)
- Add the onion and about a tablespoon of olive oil to a pan and saute over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and a dash of salt. Saute, stirring often, until the mushrooms sweat out and all the liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes.
- While the mushrooms are cooking, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the banaza pasta and cook according to directions on the pot. With 3 minutes left in the pasta cooking, add the broccoli, asparagus, and peas to the water.
- Drain the contents of the pot then add them back into the same pot and stir in the mushrooms and pesto. Serve warm.
2 cups chopped swiss chard leaves
1/2 cup almonds, toasted
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp sea salt
dash cayenne pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
Pulse the almonds and garlic in the base of a food processor or high speed blender until a crumbly texture forms. Add the lemon juice, swiss chard, and olive oil. Blend until smooth. Add the salt, pepper, and cheese last and blend until just incorporated.