Tomato Cups with Pasta Salad

With pesto, squash, feta cheese and your choice of kale or spinach, this whole-wheat pasta salad packs a vitamin-powered punch. Leafy green kale is the season’s “it” superfood—rich in calcium, iron and vitamins. We’ve put all that goodness to delicious use in these tomatoes stuffed with kale-pesto spaghetti. And if you don’t have kale or spaghetti on hand, feel free to substitute spinach or farfalle or macaroni. Laced with feta, olives and grated squash, the vegetarian dish delivers a Mediterranean-style feast in just 30 minutes. And there’s another benefit of serving pasta salad in tomatoes: fewer dishes to wash! Now that’s what we call “superfood.”

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Beef steak tomato cups filled with pasta, kale, olives and parmesan.

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Beef steak tomato cups filled with pasta, kale, olives and parmesan.


  • Prep Time

    minutes

  • Total Time

    minutes

  • Servings

    servings


Ingredients

  • ½

    pound whole wheat spaghetti or substitute farfalle or macaroni

  • 1

    bunch kale (Lacinato Kale if available)* or 1 bunch spinach

  • ¾

    ounces basil

  • 4

    small or 2 large garlic cloves

  • ½

    cup pine nuts, toasted

  • cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 2

    tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated

  • ½

    teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2

    grinds of pepper (approximately ⅛ teaspoon)

  • 1

    small yellow squash, grated

  • ¼

    cup slivered Kalamata olives

  • 4

    ounces feta cheese

  • 10

    beefsteak tomatoes

Directions

Cook pasta according to the package. Drain and cool slightly. Rinse the kale and remove the thick stems. If using spinach, wash thoroughly and pull off stems. Slice into 2-inch ribbons. Remove the heavy stems from the basil and reserve 10 small leaves for garnish. Roughly chop the garlic cloves and add them to the bowl of a food processor with the kale or spinach, basil, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese. Pulse until roughly chopped. While the motor is running, pour the oil slowly through the feed tube until the mixture is smooth. Add salt and pepper and pulse twice to combine. Reserve ½ cup of the pesto for the recipe. The remainder can be reserved to use on pasta, sandwiches or as a salad dressing for tomatoes and avocados. Slice off approximately ¼ of an inch from the top of each tomato (stem side). Reserve. Scoop out the tomato guts and reserve for another recipe, like a tomato sauce or our Sweet Potato Vegetable Soup and Strawberry-Tomato Salsa recipes. Cut the flesh of the tomato tops into small cubes. Drain the feta and cut into 1/4-inch cubes. Mix pesto with the pasta and grated squash. Gently fold in the olives, feta, and cubed tomato. Taste for seasoning. Scoop the pasta salad into the tomato cups. Serve garnished with a small basil leaf. * Chef’s note: Lacinato Kale, otherwise known as Dinosaur Kale, is beloved for its earthy flavor. It is slightly sweeter and more delicate than Curly Kale.


Nutrition

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