During the hurricane while we were still without power, I boiled two boxes of penne over our gas stove. At the time, it was an ideal go-to staple that required no refrigeration and could be eaten hot or cold. Once electricity was restored, I was left with two large containers full of pasta looking for a mate. In an effort not to waste food, especially during a time when so many were in need, I looked for a way to bring the noodles back to life.
Fortunately, I keep a plethora of salad greens on hand and found a hearty supply of arugula and kale waiting in my crisper drawer. I’m always experimenting with alternative ways to enjoy them besides tossing with dressing, and pesto is one of the simplest, most versatile solutions for a vibrant sauce. Throw fresh herbs, olive oil and some form of nuts in a food processor and you can create something divine with just the push of a button. It’s dynamic, healthy and full of vitamins and good fats. Spread it over crostini, spoon over grilled chicken, serve alongside soft cheeses or fold over pasta as I’ve done here.
The bitter, peppery arugula combined with earthy, superfood kale, nutty Rawmesan, fresh grated parmesan cheese, smooth, hearty olive oil and a touch of minced garlic allow the sauce to sing on multiple notes. Tie it all together with smokey, spicy sundried tomato vegetarian sausage and you’ll keep going back for more.
Hubby and I both agreed the sauce improved the longer its flavors combined, so I recommend making this a day in advance. I personally enjoyed eating it cold, even though it’s not the most noted time of year to eat a pasta salad. Anyone else prefer their leftovers this way?
About 2 lbs penne pasta
5 oz. arugula
2 cups kale
3/4 cup olive oil
1 package Tofurkey Italian sausage links with sundried tomato
1/3 cup original Rawmesan
1/4 grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon salt
Pack kale and arugula into the bowl of your food processor.
Pour in olive oil.
Blend together and stream in lemon juice,
Throw in minced garlic.
Season with salt and pepper.
…and freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Warm sauce over stove.
Cut veggie sausages into 1/2 inch circles.
Coat a pan with olive oil and brown sausages on each side.
Pour pesto and sausage over hot pasta and sprinkle with additional grated parmesan cheese. *Note: If like me, you’re reheating noodles, drizzle them with olive oil before warming in the microwave or over the stove.
Eat and enjoy immediately or the next day!