Pesto Pasta Salad
This recipe was really a cinch! Just boil some pasta, chop some veggies (you can easily add or subtract according to your taste), blend the pesto, and mix it all together. I made it for dinner for my family, and this will now be a go-to for feeding big groups. Especially big groups in the summer time.
So far, I have made two batches of pesto. The first time I made it according to the recipe card. And the second time I toasted the pine nuts and added a clove of crushed garlic, which I strongly recommend. I plan to have a batch of this refreshing stuff in the fridge all summer long. And when picnic season does make its fashionably and frustratingly late appearance, I will be ready with a big bowl of this pesto pasta-sweater and knee sock-free.
Pesto pasta is a super easy crowd pleaser. It is perfect for a picnic, cookout, or a family dinner. The pesto is so delicious and fresh, it tastes like summer. You can easily make this dish your own by changing up the veggies. Just use what you like, and you'll love the outcome!
- 3/4 c packed snipped fresh basil
- 1/3 c Parmesan cheese
- 3 T pine nuts
- 1/3 c olive oil (Granny used a lot more. I thought 1/3 c was perfect. Add until you reach your desired texture.)
- 1/2 lb corkscrew macaroni, cooked and drained
- 3/4 c sliced fresh mushrooms
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 1 small sweet red pepper, chopped
- 1 small green pepper, chopped
- 1 can 2 1/4 oz. sliced olives
- 1/4 c pine nuts
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/8 t pepper
Toast pine nuts by heating in a dry skillet over medium low heat until fragrant. Watch carefully because they will burn shortly after becoming fragrant.
In a blender or food processor, combine basil, cheese, 3 T pine nuts, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cover, and blend with several on/off turns until a paste forms. With the blade running, gradually blend in olive oil.
Combine remaining ingredients.
Toss with basil mixture. Chill and serve. This keeps well for several days in the refrigerator.