power goddess pasta salad

power goddess pasta salad


There’s something you need to know before you sit me down with anyone you carry a sensitive relationship with. Your competitor/colleague, boss, lover to impress, ex-lover to instill remorse… people who may be concerned about you befriending a crazy bitch (raising my hand), parents, or worse, social bridges. Because you can be positively certain that I can and WILL almost ALWAYS say the wrongest thing on the wrongest subject before I even get to my appetizer… digging cheerfully into the bread-basket before my antenna picks up the dense air molecule… (…did I say something?). You should also know that Jason waited the entire three years to unfold me in front of his company event and it’s safe to say that he had seen better days.

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Just to be clear I responsibly laid out the full disclaimer to this friend who, nonetheless, fearlessly invited us to join dinner with his allegedly temperamental dad… and his RELATIVES… AND his dad’s and relative’s SOCIALLY IMPORTANT FRIENDS… wow… all the usual suspects. I gathered that he either significantly underestimated my destructiveness or was in fact scheming to cut me out forever from his circle because I was sure that I’d TOTALLY and single-handedly crush and burn this bridge like Godzilla on steroid, swallow the ashes then giant-burp it out onto Jason’s sad sad helpless face… I don’t wanna. Things just happen. But that day, instead of finishing the dinner covered with hashtags in dismay, I realized I was in the company with someone who doesn’t belong to any of my social categories… I guess I could say I found myself at the table with someone large than life. What’s that? It means someone who granted me an invitation to her home even though I managed to say all the usual-wrong things.

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She has her own wiki-page. She’s on Forbes.com. She’s my one-degree-away from Quincy Jones and shaking hands with Clinton. And after a couple of my stern and excessively enforced opinion (as how I deliver ALL my opinions…) about “There’s no greater city than New York” and “I don’t have kids and I don’t want any” (…waiting for judgement), she said “YOU’RE MY GIRL!” (…really?) and then “You should come over to my dinner party tomorrow!” (nodding profusely). Just like that, the next day I gained a full room of new acquaintances and a request for recipes she needs for a TV show. What do you know. This is one of the four recipes I developed for her, all of which “has to be SO EASY that even I can do!” as she puts it. I decided that a beautifully green, blend-and-toss pasta salad and hand-torn Italian coppa with flavors as bold and vibrant as her personality, should be relatively executable for a power woman who runs a mega-empire. See, sometimes being yourself does yield rewards (Jason is peeing his pants).

Oh and as of my friend’s “temperamental” dad… even though I may have accidentally tried to discuss “medical marijuana” with his son. I saved it by telling him that he looked like Woody Allen which apparently rubbed his soft spot. I rock. In all seriousness though, I wouldn’t have been trying to discuss medical marijuana, with him if it wasn’t needed. Talking about things like pre rolled joints canada wasn’t meant as the devil’s temptation in the slightest, I was worried that he may have been struggling with his mental or physical health to the point of him needing to get further help. I was going to tell him about my other friend who has recently got her Missouri medical marijuana card online from the comfort of her own home, but his dad jumped in before I had the chance to do so. It has helped her, so I hope that he decides to look into it if he needs help, especially as things like CBD exist as a less extreme marijuana usage where there is full spectrum CBD oil for sale online. It also reminded me of my time in the U.K. where I noticed people were using vaporizers not just as a nicotine delivery substitute, but also as a trendy replacement for traditional rolling paper. Besides, dry herb vaporizer uk brands like DAVINCI MIQRO, E-Clipse, and the likes, the stores and clinics also sold specific CBD herbs and oils meant for the aforementioned diffusers. Anyway, I was able to divert the situation off of me in the end. Phew.


Servings: 4

This is a very refreshing and relatively healthy pasta salad that uses yogurt instead of mayonaise. It is infinitely adaptable with other flavorful greens/herbs like spinach, blenched broccoli or ramp, dill, basil and etc. Coppa can be substituted with prosciutto or even salami. It gets even more luscious and rich with a warm hot spring egg.


  • 170 g of arugula (after trimming)
  • 210 g of Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) of freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
  • 3 tbsp (35 g) of pine nuts, toasted
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of ground black pepper
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 300 g of dry pasta
  • Cured coppa or prosciutto
  • Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • Extra parmigiano cheese for shaving

Wash the arugula and trim off the tough roots if any. You should have 170 g after trimming. Toast the pine nuts on a pan over medium heat until lightly browned.

Add arugula, Greek yogurt, grated Parmigiano cheese, toasted pine nuts, garlic, salt, black pepper and nutmeg in a food processor. Run until finely blended. Bring a large pot of water to boil with a big pinch of salt. Cook the pasta according to package instruction until al dente. Drain the pasta REALLY well and rid of any excess water. Toss with the arugula/yogurt pesto.

Use a peeler to shave Parmigiano cheese over the top, and torn off small pieces of coppa/prosciutto to scatter on top. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and crack fresh black peppers. Serve warm or at room temperature.


  • your best friend

    April 18, 2013 at 4:36 AM Reply

    Loving everything about this post, yes, even the actual “cooking” part of it! I think I might, just might, give it a try. Your staying-true-to- yourself has finally paid off! (Yes, I am your friend and I still can’t handle it sometimes!) AND please private msg about who that lady was.

    • Mandy L.

      April 18, 2013 at 1:19 PM Reply

      hahahaaa this is something probably EVEN YOU could do.., if you buy a food processor….

  • jenessa

    April 18, 2013 at 11:48 AM Reply

    this will be made in a very small kitchen in Chicago this weekend (mine)….thanks for the continued inspiration! you have a wonderful sense of design.

    • Mandy L.

      April 18, 2013 at 1:20 PM Reply

      I heard Chicago is an amazing food town! Would love to visit sometimes.

  • Caroline

    April 18, 2013 at 2:27 PM Reply

    This looks amazingly delicious..can’t wait to make it! Your pictures are beautiful as usual..they make me want to lick the screen :)

  • Kelsey

    June 7, 2013 at 11:03 PM Reply

    Could I use another nut/seed with equally delicious results? Toasted walnuts instead maybe? Pine Nuts are just always so expensive and I always have sunflower seeds, raw pepitas, walnuts, and almonds on hand…

    • Mandy L.

      June 7, 2013 at 11:32 PM Reply

      kelsey, oh of course! Use pistacchios or cashews by all means. I would imagine that any other creamy nuts will work, too.

  • Victoria

    February 19, 2014 at 7:07 PM Reply

    I was wondering if you can serve this hot too! Would it work for an entree instead of salad? Thanks!

    • mandy@ladyandpups.com

      February 19, 2014 at 7:19 PM Reply

      Victoria, yeah I don’t see why not! You can tossed the hot pasta (drain the water VERY WELL FIRST) into the sauce and serve immediately. It would be more “warm” than hot I guess.

  • Tessa

    April 26, 2014 at 10:52 AM Reply

    Just made this for a quick Friday dinner. Very tasty, and your photos are great! Thanks for the recipe.

  • Lady Christine

    January 6, 2016 at 9:13 PM Reply

    Compassion…is an understanding of the unity of all things. It is an awareness that I is not separate from thou, that whatever is happening to the planet, or to another person, is happening to me. Compassion is total empathy, an absolute sense of connection…

  • Samantha

    July 13, 2017 at 9:18 AM Reply

    Hi Mandy,

    Just made this and followed the recipe as is. Turned out pretty bitter even when I splashed some lemon juice. Is it supposed to be that way?

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      July 13, 2017 at 11:48 AM Reply

      Samantha, arugula is slightly bitter in taste but it shouldn’t be off-putting. Perhaps the arugula you used is more bitter in taste… Maybe try reducing it by 1/2 and replace with another herb :)

      • Samantha

        July 13, 2017 at 12:30 PM Reply

        I used baby arugula, but yeah, I think you’re right. Will reduce it by 1/2 next time. Thanks again!

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