Penne with Arugula Pesto, Potatoes and Spring Vegetables

Penne with Arugula Pesto, Potato, Asparagus and Peas |

This is the fourth in my series featuring the popular potato, America’s favorite starch, in four main dish vegetarian recipes that are quick and easy enough to prepare on a weeknight after work, school, soccer practice, during homework time, etc. All are vegetarian recipes perfect for #MeatlessMonday, or Tuesday through Sunday :) and Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.

My mission is to demonstrate ways in which the humble spud can be the leading main instead of type cast as a side dish that is most often fried or dressed with high-calorie condiments. Mr. Potato gets a bad rap for being a carb and highly caloric when in reality a medium-sized potato has only 110 calories and can be delicious without all the added fat that is usually heaped upon it. A potato is also very nutritious – high in Vitamin C, and B6, Potassium, fiber, and simple and complex carbohydrates necessary to energize our minds and bodies.With no fat or cholesterol, potatoes are also heart healthy and have been certified by the American Heart Association as a heart healthy food. An added bonus: they are naturally gluten free and one of the most inexpensive foods you can buy.

Probably the best thing about potatoes is their versatility and compatibility with other foods – you can eat them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and there are a gazillion ways to prepare them. The proof is in the potato. In case you missed the previous recipes: the Fully Loaded Idaho® Baked Potato, Slow Cooker Idaho® Potato Tacos, Purple Idaho® Potato Pizza and, last but not least, today’s Penne with Arugula Pesto, Idaho® Red Potatoes, Asparagus, and Sugar Snap Peas – a celebration of Spring!

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College Girl and I are huge fan of traditional pesto, the classic Genoese sauce of basil partnered with garlic, olive oil, pine nuts, and Parmesan and/or Pecorino Romano cheeses, my husband, not so much. I quickly discovered that pesto can be made from practically any green leafy herb or vegetable and the man prefers the kale, parsley and arugula pestos that I’ve created – with and, more often, without cheese due to his sodium restriction. Still delicious (and vegan friendly), I assure you.

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*Edit 7/13/13 – In response to your wonderful comments about the pairing of pasta and potatoes – it is a popular dish of coastal Liguria in northwestern Italy bordering France.

In case you’re wondering why Idaho® potatoes, we all know that Idaho is known for potatoes, but they are grown in other places, to be sure you’re getting genuine, top-quality Idaho Potatoes, look for the “Grown In Idaho” seal. Idaho’s growing season of warm days and cool nights, mountain-fed irrigation and rich volcanic soil, give Idaho Potatoes their unique texture, taste and dependable performance in your kitchen capers.

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Disclosure: I was compensated by the Idaho Potato Commission for developing this recipe, the recipes and opinions expressed are my own.


9 Responses to “Penne with Arugula Pesto, Potatoes and Spring Vegetables”

  1. Laura (Tutti Dolci) May 20 at 9:50 pm #

    Your pasta looks mouth-watering, I love the pesto addition!

  2. thatskinnychickcanbake May 21 at 4:15 am #

    I’ve never added potatoes to pasta…but I’m certain I’d be a fan! Delish!!!

  3. RavieNomNoms May 22 at 7:43 am #

    Potatoes and pasta? I’m in! I love how fresh this looks and I am sure tastes too!

  4. Rebecca May 23 at 9:28 pm #

    This looks delicious – I never thought to combine potatoes and pasta before! Thanks for the recipe, will have to try it this weekend

  5. Patty June 3 at 9:11 pm #

    this salad has it all and I’m thinking it would make sure pretty good picnic fare this summer 😉

  6. Bill July 6 at 4:58 pm #

    This dish looks fantastic. So fresh and light for summer. Never tried pasta and potatoes together but it sounds great! Thanks for a great recipe!

  7. Rachel July 7 at 9:38 pm #

    This looks delicious! Definitely summer fare – perfect for a hot night dinner.

  8. Laura July 16 at 6:49 pm #

    What delicious healthy foods to combination together. Beautiful dish!

  9. Nancy@acommunaltable October 22 at 10:41 am #

    I could eat bowls of this….all my faves combined in one bowl… brilliant!!!

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