This whole wheat pasta salad with pesto, asparagus and roasted tomatoes is proof that the only things you need for a completely delicious (and really easy) pasta salad are a few trusty mix-ins, like a jar of your favorite pesto, marinated artichokes, salty prosciutto, and a seasonal veggie or two.
This post is sponsored by DeLallo.
Have you ever been someone, or met someone, who describes their life in seasons? And by seasons, I mean, a season that lasts as long as a relationship, or while your kids are little, a season of grieving, growing…or for me, the many, many seasons of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad clothing.
When I traveled to Portland recently with my friend Kristen, she and I were talking about these seasons, and in a more literal way, she was saying how sad it is for her to know that she only has 4 summers left before her son heads off to college.
4 summers. For her, remembering that her summers are numbered makes each one count, and in a way, she reminded me that my summers are numbered, too. Because they are.
Whether we’re talking literal seasons or figurative seasons, none of us has an endless number of them, and I’m so appreciative of the little moments that wake me up and remind me of that.
In the spirit of not taking one season for granted, I’m going to make a summer bucket list and fill it with things that are exciting and also completely mundane (but lovable nonetheless), because why not? Have you ever done this or even considered it? I’d love to know what you put on it and I’ll be sure to share mine with you when I’m done, but I’ll tell you this: half of the list will involve Daniel and me going back home to Massachusetts to be with our family and friends.
Whole Wheat Pasta Salad with Pesto, Asparagus and Roasted Tomatoes
Summertime in Massachusetts with my family and anyone that my mother can coerce into staying for dinner is one big cookout, and after years and years of them, I know that the key to a good one is this: anything not going on the grill should be a make-ahead recipe. No one wants to be slaving away in a hot kitchen when they could be outside.
This whole wheat pasta salad with pesto, asparagus and roasted tomatoes is the kind of recipe that lets you fully enjoy what you’re eating and still enjoy your life. Know what I mean? It’s rich and balanced but also completely unfussy to make, thanks to a heavy helping of DeLallo products.
Back in October of last year, at the Better Blog Retreat, I was introduced to Delallo Foods, when Heidi and Maria made me a few different meals and snacks with their products. About 2 months ago, I connected with Delallo through my good friend Jessica, who swears by DeLallo, and they sent me a package that had Daniel and me on the floor like Christmas morning, oooh’ing and aaah’ing over pestos, dips, spreads, oils, pastas—you name it.
For the past month, I’ve been cooking with their organic whole wheat pastas, using their olive oil, drizzling their balsamic glaze on grilled chicken, and have used their Salad Savors for lunch a few times a week. I’m realizing more and more why Jess, Gina, Heidi, and Ali–bloggers and friends I respect and trust for honest feedback—always rave about this brand. The quality is there.
My pasta salad recipe begins with a base of DeLallo organic whole wheat shells which hang onto their perfect chewiness when cooked al dente and, just by virtue of them being whole wheat, are more wholesome and even a little more flavorful, too. I tossed the pasta with the fragrant, nutty, Parmesan-y wonder that is DeLallo Traditional Basil Simply Pesto, a jar I had to fight Daniel to the ground for, that was half empty because he’s been using it nonstop since we got it. Once I slathered the pasta in that pesto, I realized that there really is one thing better than pesto–and that is, someone else making me pesto (hi, DeLallo!) and putting it in a little jar in my fridge.
As pasta salad goes, it’s all about what you add to it, right? First, I roasted two of my favorite warm-weather staples: asparagus and sweet, grape tomatoes. I’m convinced that roasting veggies is the best way to cook them, but tomatoes are especially lovely, because they blister and burst. Once those were blistered and tossed with the pesto pasta, I knew it was basically now or never: time to add salty diced prosciutto and charred, grilled artichokes, which, let me tell you, just like the pesto, are even better when you’re not the one doing the prep and grilling. Isn’t that a funny thing? The DeLallo grilled artichoke hearts are briney, faintly charred, and instant flavor enhancers if you ask me.
I only wish I made more of this recipe, because it was gone too soon.
Tell me: have you made a summer bucket list before? What would be on yours for this year?