Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pesto Pasta Salad

When I decided I was going to cut my basil way back and make pesto the other day I was researching pesto recipes.  I thought this would be a good side dish, a little different from normal pasta salad.  We enjoyed it.  I liked the tomatoes, peas, and pine nuts in it.

Pesto Pasta Salad
• 1 box spiral pasta
• 1/4 cup pine nuts
• 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted 
• 12 oz. cherry or grape tomatoes (halved)
• Several fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
• 1 Tbsp olive oil
• Mozzarella cheese (or substitute with cheese of your choice)
(You can add other vegetables if you want!)

1.  Cook pasta according to box.  Remove from heat and strain when pasta is cooked, but still firm (al dente).  Meanwhile, toast pine nuts in a small pan over medium heat, stirring almost constantly, until they begin to brown (no longer than 8 minutes).

2.  Put pasta in a large bowl.  Mix in pesto and pine nuts.  Gently mix in cherry tomatoes, peas, fresh basil leaves, olive oil, and cheese.  Salt and Pepper to taste.  Chill or serve at room temperature.

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