Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Penne with Arugula, Peas and Caramelized Balsamic Walnuts

This recipe came about as I was trying to come up with a vegan alternative to chopped bacon. Something savory, sweet, salty and crunchy all in one bite. That I could sprinkle on rice and salads or just snack on with a piece of fruit.

I actually like pasta salad that combines leafy greens and some cooked pasta. There has been some difficulty in finding a gluten free pasta that eats well at any temperature. I prefer the Tru Roots mixed grain penne.
This pasta salad is served warm but can be eaten cold the next day.
A nice bowl of green to welcome spring. Who else is excited about spring showers and growing flowers?
Penne with Arugula, Peas, and Caramelized Balsamic Walnuts
1 cup peas (I used organic frozen but fresh is even better - no need to cook fresh)
2 cups gluten-free penne
4 cups arugula
2 cups walnuts, chopped or whole
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 TB olive oil
2 TB maple syrup
1-2 cloves garlic
1. In a small to medium size saucepan,  add walnuts, vinegar, oil and garlic. Turn to medium high heat. As soon as bubbles form, turn down to low, stirring frequently for 10-15 minutes or until sauce has thickened and walnuts are toasted.
2. Meanwhile cook pasta according to package, adding the frozen peas when you add the noodles. Drain and add a small glug of olive oil.
3. Add handfuls of arugula to bowls, top with pasta and then walnuts and sauce.
Skip the peas and arugula. Before you drain noodles,  add fresh spinach to the bottom of the colander. The hot water from pasta will quick steam spinach. Add the special walnuts and chopped fresh or sundried tomatoes.
When the king smiles, there is life;
his favor refreshes like a spring rain.
Proverbs 16:15
Gentle words are a tree of life.
Proverbs 15:4

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