Leek & Pee Couscous Stuffed Pasta Salad

By Isabel Minunni

It is time to change to a lighter fresher cuisine utilizing all the fresh produce that spring has to offer. Peas are never sweeter and leeks are at their peak! The renewal of the spring herbs, fruit and vegetables is an exciting time for your culinary adventures! Make good use of the fresh, vibrant new vegetables and fruits by bringing springtime freshness into your recipes! 

The use of spring ingredients in the following recipes brightens the dish making an otherwise heavy dish into a refreshing recipe. 

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1 box couscous
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ leek
1½ cups fresh spring peas
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
½ cup lemon juice
1½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup olive oil
1 box Manicotti
5 oz. Spring Mix lettuce

Method:
Cook couscous according to package directions. 

  1. Cut leek lengthwise in half. Cut one half into about ¼ inch size slices. Wash leek thoroughly. Add olive oil to medium skillet and sauté leeks until just softened.

  2. Add leeks and peas to cooked couscous.

  3. Into a medium size jar, add lemon zest, lemon juice, mustard, salt, pepper and olive oil and shake until mixed. Pour dressing (reserving ¼ of the dressing) onto couscous mixture and blend.

  4. Cook manicotti according to package directions, let cool. Cut one end of each cooked manicotti straight across so it will stand on a plate. Then stuff each with the couscous salad.

  5. Place the desired amount of Spring Mix lettuce onto platter or plates. Place stuffed manicotti on top and drizzle with remaining dressing.

Serves 4-6