I love to experiment with fruit in pasta salads. I have found that pasta goes very well with many types of fruit and many types of sauces/dressings. Sometimes getting “lost” is the best way to find something new, even when it comes to recipes.
- 8 ounces small shell pasta
- 1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds
- 2 cups firmly packed mint leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid stevia or stevia powdered extract
- 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 2 cups sweet cherries, pitted and halved
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Prepare pasta as shown on package directions until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water in a colander. Set aside.
- While pasta is cooking, roast almonds. Spread the almonds in a pie plate and toast in the oven until golden brown, approx. 4 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
- Create pesto by combining mint and sugar substitute in a blender or food processor. Process until the mint is finely chopped. Add the oil, vinegar and pepper. Process until well blended.
- Place pasta in large bowl and add celery and cherries. Toss together gently. Pour pesto over pasta mixture and toss again,gently but thoroughly. Serve immediately; sprinkle with roasted almonds over each bowl or plate. Pasta dish can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 hours. (Note: The pasta will darken the longer it sits in the vinegar.)