Ditalini & Lentil Salad w/ Mint & Parsley Pesto
This is a great recipe.
It's different from your average pasta salad, and it's different from your everyday lentil salad.
I've been waiting all summer to make this and it was perfect with picnic foods.
It needs no refrigeration and was a nice change to the scene.
If you are not familiar with ditalini (I love saying that word!), they are tiny pasta tubes often used in soup.
The recipe is from the book Donatella Cooks. She looks like a movie star in each photo with her slinky dresses and gold heels, but who cares, she really is a great cook, everything I have tried from this Italian cookbook has been terrific.
Ditalini & Lentil Salad w/ Mint & Parsley Pesto (adapted from Donatella Cooks):
For the Pesto:
1/4 cup of fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup of fresh mint leaves
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp pine nuts
1/3 cup olive oil
salt & pepper
juice of a lemon
Combine all the pesto ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it becomes a nice paste consistency. Set aside.
For the Salad:
1 cup of cooked lentils (French green lentils are best)
1 cup of cooked ditalini pasta (save a few tablespoons of the starchy pasta water)
big handful of chopped scallions
3/4 cup of defrosted frozen peas
zest of a lemon
mint leaves for garnish
Don't forget to save a few tablespoons of the pasta water after cooking the ditalini.
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss with the parsley mint pesto.
Taste for seasoning and add more salt as needed. I also drizzled olive oil on the salad just before serving.
Toss with fresh mint leaves and serve at room temperature.