Fall Farfalle Pear and Pecorino Pasta Salad

I ate this two meals in a row and I am still craving more. Which is saying something because when you recipe test sometimes you are just sick to death of a dish. There's a recipe from last fall Chris and I honestly can't even look at to this day. Not the case here.  This isn't just any cool weather pasta dish. It's a fall pasta dish that's light and hits all the right flavor notes: salty, sweet, a little grassy/nature-y (I'm not sure if that's selling it, but really, it works).

The fact that we worked in two fruits to this recipe and it makes TOTAL SENSE is my favorite part. Sometimes I see recipes that are just trying so hard to use an ingredient that it sticks out like a sore thumb in both flavor profile and usage. The forelle pears and thomchord grapes are in your groceries right now and they play nicely with the other ingredients. I actually found my fork looking for the grapes in this dish. That's how important they are. 

Fall Farfalle Pear and Pecorino Pasta Salad
Fall Farfalle Pear and Pecorino Pasta Salad
Fall Farfalle Pear and Pecorino Pasta Salad

So let's talk about those grapes for a second. Thomchord grapes are a hybrid between thomson seedless grapes (think table grapes) and conchord grapes (grape jam). They have the same big flavor impact of conchords, but you don't have to remove the skins as many people do. These guys are super important to this recipe and I highly recommend them for your next cheese platter. 

The forelle pears as the second fruit of the dish are also crucial. Don't go and buy just any pear. There are many, many varieties and they all have big differences in texture and flavor. Forelles are known as a snacking pear. They're prized for how beautiful they are on display, but their naturally sweet taste and red skin were the big winners for why we went 'forelle' today. If you buy a typical 'green pear' this is just not going to work the same. 

Fall Farfalle Pear and Pecorino Pasta Salad

And before we jump into the recipe, let's touch on the 'green'. Pistachios and pea shoots add crunch in two very different ways. While it would have been easy to throw in some kale or arugula and call it a day, we can do better than that. Pea shoots are light and bright and crisp. If you can't find pea shoots microgreens will also work. In fact, this study showed that microgreens had 40 times the nutrient content of their mature counterparts.  The pistachios are the little salty,  nutty delicious nuggets you hope to find in a salad of any kind. Pistachios contain more than 10% of the daily value of dietary fiber and essential vitamins and minerals like B6, thiamin, copper an phosphorus. So that's why they're better than bacon in this recipe if you're going to start arguing with me. 

Fall Farfalle Pear and Pecorino Pasta Salad

serves 2

 /// Ingredients ///

  • 2 cups farfalle pasta (cooked)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 3 oz marscarpone 
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 T salted pistachios, chopped
  • 1/2 c pea shoots 
  • 1/2 c thomcord grapes, halved
  • 1 medium forelle pear, sliced
  • pecorino romano cheese shaved
  • salt and pepper
  • squeeze of fresh lemon

/// Directions/// Cook pasta 10 min until al dente (Seriously. Check it. Stop making mushy pasta). Toss with olive oil and mascarpone while warm. Mascarpone should coat pasta evenly. Prep other toppings and add to pasta. Toss to combine. Should be served cool, warm or room temperature but not hot (making it perfect for a busy night).

Fall Farfalle Pear and Pecorino Pasta Salad

Dietitian Nutritionist and cookbook author sharing flavor-forward recipes and simplified science-driven wellness.