Last weekend we had few friends over for dinner and I’m sharing the menu below. Most of the dishes we serve at dinner parties are really simple wine food – Mike did the grilling (wild-caught salmon and also filet mignon, not pictured) for the main dishes and I did the apps and sides. I like things I can make ahead (like the caprese). Another one of my tips if you can’t make the full dish ahead is to prep as much as you can prior – for example, for the arugula salad, I toast the pine nuts ahead, grate the cheese, and zest the lemon and keep everything covered and fresh until time to assemble.
But trust me, you need this super-delicious roasted cauliflower recipe in your life! 😉🙌🏻
Pesto Pasta Salad with Peas
- ¾ lb. fusilli pasta
- ¾ lb. bow tie pasta
- ¼ cup extra
- virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ cups pesto packaged or see recipe below
- 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 ¼ cups good mayonnaise
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 ½ cups frozen peas defrosted
- ⅓ cup pine nuts
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup walnuts
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic 6 cloves
- 5 cups fresh basil leaves packed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ½ extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Cook the fusilli and bow ties separately in a large pot of boiling salted water for 10 to 12 minutes until each pasta is al dente. Drain and toss into a bowl with the olive oil. Cool to room temperature.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, puree the pesto, spinach, and lemon juice. Add the mayonnaise and puree. Add the pesto mixture to the cooled pasta and then add the Parmesan, peas, pignoli, salt, and pepper. Mix well, season to taste, and serve at room temperature.
Here’s our full dinner menu:
I always pick up dessert from a local bakery, because who has the time?! Last but not least 100% don’t forget the dessert wine!
Here was our full wine menu:
xx — BB