Green Garlic Pesto Pasta with Butter Lettuce Salad & Creamy Lemon Dressing

Green Garlic Pesto Pasta

with Butter Lettuce Salad & Creamy Lemon Dressing

Group Created with Sketch. 40 min
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500 Calories Or Less
Mediterranean
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  • icon-servings Created with Sketch.
    2 Servings
  • icon-nutrition Created with Sketch. Est. 750 Cals/serving

With its fresh, mellow flavor, green garlic (also known as young garlic) is a much-anticipated sign of spring. Here, we’re sautéing the tender stem and bulb with arugula and lemon zest, creating a light, simple pesto for our pasta. On the side, a tender butter lettuce salad gets crunchy bites from sunflower seeds—and comes together with a dressing of rich mascarpone and lemon juice.

With its fresh, mellow flavor, green garlic (also known as young garlic) is a much-anticipated sign of spring. Here, we’re sautéing the tender stem and bulb with arugula and lemon zest, creating a light, simple pesto for our pasta. On the side, a tender butter lettuce salad gets crunchy bites from sunflower seeds—and comes together with a dressing of rich mascarpone and lemon juice.

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Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Separate the stem and bulb of the green garlic. Thinly slice the stem. Quarter the bulb, then thinly slice. Using a peeler, remove the yellow rind of the lemon, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter and deseed the lemon. Cut off and discard the root end of the lettuce; separate the leaves. Peel the carrot; grate on the large side of a box grater. Using the flat side of your knife, smash the olives; remove and discard the pits, then roughly chop. Roughly chop the almonds.

Cook & chop the greens:
2 Cook & chop the greens:

In a medium pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the green garlic stem and bulb; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 4 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the arugula and lemon zest; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the arugula has wilted. Transfer to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, finely chop the cooked greens.

Make the pesto:
3 Make the pesto:

Transfer the chopped greens to a bowl. Slowly stir in enough olive oil to create a rough paste. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook & finish the pasta:
4 Cook & finish the pasta:

Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook 10 to 11 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot. Add the pesto and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on low, stirring vigorously, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the pasta is thoroughly coated. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining pasta cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the dressing:
5 Make the dressing:

While the pasta cooks, in a bowl, combine the mascarpone cheese, the juice of all 4 lemon wedges and half the parmesan cheese. Slowly whisk in 2 teaspoons of olive oil until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the salad & plate your dish:
6 Make the salad & plate your dish:

Just before serving, in a large bowl, combine the lettuce, carrot, olives, sunflower seeds and enough of the dressing to coat the salad (you may have extra dressing). Toss to thoroughly combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish. Divide the finished pasta between 2 dishes. Garnish with the almonds and remaining parmesan cheese. Serve with the salad on the side. Enjoy!

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2 Cook & chop the greens:

In a medium pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the green garlic stem and bulb; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 4 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the arugula and lemon zest; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the arugula has wilted. Transfer to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, finely chop the cooked greens.

Cook & chop the greens:
Make the pesto:
3 Make the pesto:

Transfer the chopped greens to a bowl. Slowly stir in enough olive oil to create a rough paste. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4 Cook & finish the pasta:

Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook 10 to 11 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot. Add the pesto and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on low, stirring vigorously, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the pasta is thoroughly coated. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining pasta cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook & finish the pasta:
Make the dressing:
5 Make the dressing:

While the pasta cooks, in a bowl, combine the mascarpone cheese, the juice of all 4 lemon wedges and half the parmesan cheese. Slowly whisk in 2 teaspoons of olive oil until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6 Make the salad & plate your dish:

Just before serving, in a large bowl, combine the lettuce, carrot, olives, sunflower seeds and enough of the dressing to coat the salad (you may have extra dressing). Toss to thoroughly combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish. Divide the finished pasta between 2 dishes. Garnish with the almonds and remaining parmesan cheese. Serve with the salad on the side. Enjoy!