- 1 pound whole grain pasta
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 3 handfuls baby arugula or spinach
- Optional cheese: Crumbled feta cheese, little mozzarella balls or diced mozzarella or grated Parmesan
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup pepitas
- ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves
- ½ cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- ¼ cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
- 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.
- Cook the pasta until al dente according to package directions.
- Before draining, reserve about ½ cup pasta cooking water, then drain and immediately rinse the pasta under cool water to prevent the noodles from sticking to one another.
- Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl.
- Meanwhile, to prepare the pesto: In a small skillet, toast the pepitas over medium heat, stirring often, until they are fragrant.
- Pour half of the pepitas into a bowl for later for garnish.
- Pour the remaining pepitas into a food processor.
- Add the basil, parsley, lemon juice, garlic and salt to the processor.
- To assemble the pasta salad, pour all of the pesto over the pasta and toss until the pasta is lightly and evenly coated.
- Then add the cherry tomatoes, arugula, remaining toasted pepitas, and any optional add-ins (olives, chickpeas and/or cheese).
- Toss again to combine.
- If the pasta needs more flavor, add salt, to taste, or a splash of lemon juice.