Pasta salads are one of the most simple and versatile dishes around. There’s a seemingly endless combination of delicious pastas, veggies, herbs and spices out there. With fresh ingredients, they rarely fail.

This pasta salad uses whole wheat penne for a hearty base and matches it with the snap of green beans, the pop of peas, and the crunch of almonds. Yet, it’s the citrus and cilantro that take it to the next level.

Enjoy this light and summery pasta salad with chicken, fish or even on its own.

(Use fresh green beans for best flavor. You may substitute Royal Burgundy (Phaseolus vulgarism) for a purple pop along side the green peas and oatmeal colored pasta. The color combo is a real show stopper!)


Citrusy Pasta Salad with Peas, Green Beans

Prep time: 30 minutes, Serves 3-4

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces whole wheat pasta (I like the shape of penne to match the beans)
  • 4 cups fresh green beans, cut into thirds
  • 1 cup frozen baby peas
  • Use fresh green beans for best flavor. You may substitute Royal Burgundy (Phaseolus vulgaris) for the green beans to add a purple pop along side the green peas and oatmeal colored pasta. The color combo is a real show stopper! I couldn’t find any of the purple beans at the market today, but you might have more luck.

    1/4 cup olive oil

  • 5 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 1 lime, halved
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. In a large pot, boil water. Add pasta and cook until al dente.
  2. Add beans to pot and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add frozen peas and let cook for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and drain completely.
  4. Rinse the pasta and veggies with cold water as many times as needed until cool. Drain one final time and pour into large bowl.
  5. Heat oil in a small skillet. Add garlic and simmer about 1 or 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool 2-3 minutes.
  6. Squeeze juice of lime into pan. lightly stir.
  7. Pour content of skillet onto pasta and veggies. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir until pasta is coated. Toss in almonds and cilantro. Sprinkle with lemon zest. Lightly mix again. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  8. Eat it up!

Adapted from Martha Stewart.


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Author

Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. She’s thrown away just as many meals as she’s proud of.