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green goddess pasta salad

A few days ago we received an email with the subject “A Top Secret Proposition” from one of Marc and I’s friends.  I love anything “top secret” so I was beyond excited that the email contained the details of his plan to propose to his girlfriend, and how he would love all of their friends and family to be there to surprise her afterwards.  Not only was I excited to join them for such a special night, but I was ecstatic when I read that it was at a pizza farm!  Granted, I didn’t even know what a pizza farm was but after little internet research I found out it was a family farm that grows all of their vegetables for the pizzas, and opens its pizza oven to the public one night a week, on Tuesdays.  You bring your own blankets, chairs, tables, drinks, plates, and utensils, and they provide the pizza.  It was bound to be an awesome experience. 

The night did not let down.  When we first arrived at the farm, with no help from any signage, the scenery itself took our breath away.  We found a parking spot at the end of a long line of cars along a gravel country road, and headed to the pizza farm.  The place was packed with people spread across the front and back lawns eating, drinking, and soaking up the perfect summer night.  We found our newly-engaged friends, who were both glowing the entire night, and we all ate and drank the night away.  

In the email, we were asked to bring a side dish to supplement the pizza.  Since I have an overflowing garden of herbs, I decided to make this pasta dish which utilizes basically any green herb you can get your hands on.  It was full of flavor and a great addition to the pizza.  You can really adapt this pasta salad to whatever vegetables and herbs you have on hand.  I think some zucchini, summer squash, bell peppers, arugula, would all be great in this.    

Green Goddess Pasta Salad


1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
3 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
4 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 clove garlic
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
14 oz rotini pasta


Directions:


Bring large pot of water to boil.  Cook pasta according to box.  When done, drizzle and toss with olive oil and set aside to let cook.  


In food processor or blender, add yogurt, mayo, herbs, 2 cups of spinach, green onions, garlic, dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, and salt and pepper.  Blend until herbs are finely chopped into the mixture and everything is well combined.  


Toss dressing with cooked pasta, then add tomatoes, goat cheese, and remaining 2 cups of spinach (roughly chopped).  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Enjoy!  

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