Pasta was one of my absolute favorite foods growing up. I ate it multiple times a week, usually with butter and a hefty helping of Parmesan cheese.
Today’s recipe is an upgrade to my childhood pasta meals.
I served it for the first time yesterday during a workshop I taught at my church about Summer Food Upgrades. It was a big hit!
You could serve it for lunch or dinner or take with you to a picnic or cookout. It’s super simple to make and will definitely be a crowd-pleaser.
I made it gluten-free by using brown rice pasta and dairy-free by using this paleo Parmesan cheeze.
I used cannellini beans to boost the fiber and protein, which help keep us feeling full, and added some diced tomatoes and fresh basil for a pop of color.
By making your own (simple!) dressing you’re also avoiding all of the extra gunk that tends to be in bottled salad dressings.
This dish is an all-around upgrade to the traditional pasta salad and tastes great, too!
- 1 pound rotini brown rice pasta (we use Tinkyada)
- 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (we like the brand Eden)
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced like this
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 lemon, juiced (about 3 tablespoons)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- black pepper, to taste
- Optional: 1 medium zucchini spiralized
- Cook pasta according to package directions, and rinse under cold water; drain and put into a serving bowl. Add beans, tomatoes, and basil.
- In a small bowl, whisk garlic, sea salt, lemon juice, olive oil, and black pepper. Pour over pasta, and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Take out 15 minutes before serving to allow to come to room temperature or keep it cold. Your choice!
- Sprinkle with this paleo Parmesan cheeze. An optional step is to add some spiralized zucchini noodles for an extra veggie punch!