Thursday, July 10, 2008

Whip it good!

I totally could not resist that title. I'm a child of the 80's y'all!

Alright folks, I've got my first installment of the Whip It Up recipe challenge for you. I found this gem on All Recipes & it's fantastic. I'm a sucker for a summery pasta salad & when you add sausage & pesto? Seconds please!
This was a hit with my whole family although I admit the kids picked around what they deemed to be gross - that is until I broke out my trusty if-you-don't-eat-all-your-dinner-you-won't-get-any-dessert ploy. Works almost every time.

Pasta Salad with Pesto

Yields: 8 servings

1 (19 ounce) package Bob
Evans® Italian Grilling
1 pound uncooked penne pasta
1 tablespoon butter or
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated
Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups seeded and diced
Roma tomatoes
1 small green bell pepper,
1 cup whole ripe olives
1 cup cubed mozzarella
Red leaf lettuce for garnish

Cook sausage in large skillet or on grill until browned; let cool. Cut in half lengthwise; cut each half into 1/4 inch slices and set aside. Cook penne according to package directions; drain. Toss in large bowl with butter to prevent sticking.
To prepare pesto sauce, place garlic cloves in food processor with metal blade or in blender; process until smooth. Add basil and parsley; process until finely chopped. Add pine nuts; process until finely chopped. With motor running, slowly add olive oil in fine, steady stream. Add Parmesan cheese and black pepper; process until well blended, scraping down side as needed.
To assemble salad, toss sausage, tomatoes, bell pepper, olives and mozzarella cheese with penne. Gradually stir in pesto until salad is moist but not saturated. Serve salad on lettuce-lined platter, if desired. Refrigerate leftovers.

I used Hilshire farms sausage instead of Bob Evans (whoever he is) & it tasted just delish. I cut mine up before I browned it...I like getting the crusty browned flavor on as many surfaces of that sausage as possible. I used ye old Parmesan-in-a-can instead of freshly grated cos' we don't have the $$ for the good stuff and it just takes less time to shake from a can rather than grate it yerself. I also used red bell pepper in place of the green - I just don't like those green ones much.
The only thing I didn't like about this is that making pesto in a blender takes for-freakin-ever. Someday I'll get me a food processor & my pesto-making efficiency will be what I wish it to be but until then...totally worth taking the time with the blender. Fresh pesto just can't be beat.
The 8 people they say this recipe serves would be rather large people, this makes a huge bowl of salad & would be perfect for your next potluck.


Was the recipe easy to follow?

Did the dish taste good?
Yum, yum, yum, yum and yum (that's one yum per family member y'all.)

Would you make it again?
Oh yeah, I think my hubby might hurt me if I don't :)

Can't wait to see what my fellow recipe-tryer-outers came up with for their first entry.


RA said...

We love pesto! I enjoy how the recipe suggests nicely that you serve the salad on a lettuce-lined platter. Fancy pants!

Kate said...

That looks and sounds delicious!

Kate said...

Back up the bus--I just realized that we have sausage in the fridge (we never do). I can make this! Maybe tonight!

Sandra said...

Oh that looks really good!

Rebekah said...

that looks delicious

Vanessa said...

This looks fabulous! There are so many good recipes coming from the WIU challenge!

Swishy said...

Yum! I'm gonna have to try this ...

And thank you so much for your kind comments on my blog. It means so much so me and helps a ton ... thank you!

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