Penne with Arugula Pesto, Idaho® Red Potatoes and Spring Vegetables
- 4 ounces penne pasta
- 6 ounces Idaho red potatoes (about 4 medium potatoes)
- 4 ounces asparagus
- 1/2 cup sugar snap peas
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Arugula Pesto:
- 1 cup packed arugula
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced (about 3 cloves)
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1 tablespoon fresh Meyer lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt*
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Bring a large pot of water to boil over medium high heat. Blanche the asparagus for 2 minutes, use tongs to remove to an ice bath. Add the sugar snap peas and cook for 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a colander.
- Add additional water to the pot if necessary and bring to a boil before adding the pasta and potatoes. Cook according to package directions, usually 9-11 minutes which is sufficient time to cook the potatoes al dente as well. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Remove the potatoes and set aside to cool - they should be firm and will continue to cook. You do not want them to be soft or you won't be able to slice them. Do not rinse the pasta - the sauce will coat the pasta instead of sliding off.
- Meanwhile, add all the pesto ingredients and half of the olive oil to a mini food processor. Pulse several times, stopping to scrape the mixture from the sides once or twice and then add the remaining olive oil, pulse until fully incorporated.
- Leaving the skin on, slice the potatoes into 1/4 inch slices using a sharp knife or mandolin. You may peel the potatoes if you prefer - I like the color that the skin-on potatoes add to the dish and just removed any peel that came away when slicing.
- Heat the pot with a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Transfer the pasta to the pot, stir to break up clumps and coat with olive oil, add the cooking liquid and mix in the pesto. Gently fold in the asparagus and snap peas and reheat for 2-3 minutes, stirring once or twice to heat evenly. Serve in pasta bowls and garnish with a few shelled peas and toasted pine nuts.