Sunday, April 9, 2017

Park 'n Pasta

Our spring picnic menu features a pesto pasta dish, asparagus and olive oil cake with strawberries and ricotta.  The pasta dish is based on a recipe from Rachael Ray.  I added my homemade marinara to keep it hot in the thermos for transport.  It was a delightful meal.

Pesto Pasta with Sausage & Marinara

(Serves 2)

Pulse nuts, greens, cheese, garlic, oil and lemon juice in a mini food processor. 
2 tablespoon shelled pistachios
3/4 cup cut greens (I used local bok choy and cilantro)
1/4 cup Parmigiano cheese, grated
1 large garlic clove
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced

In a non stick skillet sprayed with olive oil spray, brown and crumble sauce with pepper and onion.  Drain well on paper towels.
4 ounce sweet Italian sausage
1 mini sweet pepper
2 tablespoon onion, diced

Cook noodles in boiling water for 12 minutes.  Drain (reserving liquid).  Mix liquid with 1 low sodium bouillon cube (gluten and GMO free). 
4 ounce whole wheat egg noodles
1 cup low sodium chicken stock

Stir pesto and sausage mix into noodles.  Add chicken stock and cool in refrigerator overnight.

1/2 hour prior to leaving for picnic, fill thermos with boiling water to preheat.  Empty pasta mix into a stove top pan.  Add marinara.  Heat to 165 F.  Empty water in thermos.  Fill with pasta.  Tighten lid to transport.
8 ounce no added salt marinara

The olive oil cake recipe I used was from Parade Magazine.  I used fresh ground whole wheat flour and only 1/4 cup sugar.   The strawberries were diced small and 1/2 of the mix pureed with 1 pack of strawberry jam.  I added a teaspoon of sugar to the part skim ricotta cheese.  We kept the cheese cold in an insulated container with ice packs and assembled the dessert at tableside.

Our picnic today was at Tygart Lake West Virginia State Park.  The water was high next to the dam.

The docks are not yet in the water, but in a few weeks, there will be many boats and fisherman.  This is one of a few historic spots in Grafton, West Virginia.


  1. Delicious, it is mouth watering and I am craving to have it. Thank you for sharing recipe with us and keep posting such delicious posts

  2. This pasta looks too delicious. Thanks to you for sharing your unique recipe with us so that we can experience the same taste you enjoyed. Having delicious and light food on the picnic is awesome.