Pesto Pasta Salad

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Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe by Mr. Make It Happen


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Introduction:

Summertime calls for refreshing dishes that are not only easy to prepare but bursting with flavor. This pesto pasta salad recipe is a perfect blend of vibrant colors and fresh ingredients, making it an ideal companion for picnics, barbecues, or a light lunch at home. Whether you’re a fan of classic Italian flavors or simply looking to elevate your pasta salad game, this recipe will surely delight your taste buds.

For the Pesto:

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup diced parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts 
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

MR. MAKE IT HAPPEN

All-Purpose Seasoning

Add all of the dry ingredients to a food processor or blender and pulse until a coarse consistency. Next, slowly add in the olive oil while the blender is on low. Season to taste.

Next, we are going to prep the pepperoni, shallots, cherry tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes.

Cook the bowtie pasta per package instructions in salted water. Drain and cool. Add the other ingredients and mix to combine with the pesto. Season to taste. Add 1 cup fresh mozzarella.

Cook the Pasta: Boil the pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Set aside.

Prepare the Pesto: In a food processor, combine basil, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts (or walnuts), and garlic cloves. Pulse until finely chopped. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the pesto is smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Assemble the Salad: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta, cherry tomatoes, black olives, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, red onion, and crumbled feta cheese.

Add the Pesto: Pour the prepared pesto over the pasta salad ingredients. Gently toss until everything is evenly coated with the pesto.

Chill and Serve: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld together. Before serving, garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Conclusion: This pesto pasta salad is not only a feast for the eyes but also a delightful combination of fresh flavors. Perfect for any summer gathering or as a quick weekday meal, it’s sure to become a favorite in your recipe repertoire. Enjoy the simplicity and deliciousness of this dish, and let it brighten up your next mealtime!


Pesto Pasta Salad

By: Mr. Make It Happen
Servings: 6 people
Prep: 15 minutes
Making Pesto Sauce: 10 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
This pesto pasta salad recipe is a perfect blend of vibrant colors and fresh ingredients, making it an ideal companion for picnics, barbecues, or a light lunch at home.

Equipment

  • 1 Large Mixing Bowl
  • 1 Blender or Food Processor

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb bowtie pasta
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1-2 diced shallots
  • 1 cup fresh mozzarella balls
  • 1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 12 oz pepperoni
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsps lemon juice
  • salt and pepper or AP Seasoning
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp salad seasoning
  • celery salt to taste

Pesto Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup diced parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
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Instructions 

Cook the Pasta:

  • Boil the pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Set aside.

Prepare the Pesto:

  • In a food processor, combine basil, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts (or walnuts), and garlic cloves. Pulse until finely chopped. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the pesto is smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Assemble the Salad:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta, cherry tomatoes, black olives, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, red onion, and crumbled feta cheese.

Add the Pesto:

  • Pour the prepared pesto over the pasta salad ingredients. Gently toss until everything is evenly coated with the pesto.

Chill and Serve:

  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld together. Before serving, garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer, Pasta, Side Dish, Snack

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About Matt Price

I’m Matt Price – A self taught “Home Chef”, or “Internet Chef”, lol, from Virginia. I’m super passionate about cooking and sharing recipes and techniques to elevate home cooking. Too many of us have drifted away from the kitchen – and my goal is to change that! Let’s Make It Happen.

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