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If you’re a pasta salad lover then this recipe is for you! I know that my family and I could easily polish off the whole bowl of this salad in one sitting. It’s meant to be a side dish but we’ve eaten as our lunch many times. it’s easy to toss together and even easier to devour. Whenever I make this pasta salad for parties or summer get-togethers I always receive numerous compliments and get asked for the recipe. I am thinking this little gem is a keeper. What do you think?
Check out what our friend, Tammy Raynes from Whitney In Chicago had to say about this recipe:
Even though the calendar claims that it is mid-August and some kids are already back to school, I feel like my summer is just beginning. Chicago had a record breaking “cold” July so it never felt like hot summer (not that I would have known since I was inside studying all day) but my day yesterday made me feel that summer had finally arrived.
There’s nothing better than a yummy pasta salad during those summertime picnics and parties. Yum!
For the pesto:
Big Bunch of Basil, washed and dried (it filled half of my large salad spinner bowl)
1/2 cup or so of walnuts, toasted and chopped
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
Olive oil (probably used 1/3 cup or so but I was just pouring from my bottle)
2 inch block of parmigiano-reggiano, chopped in small pieces or grated
Kosher salt to taste
Place all the basil, walnuts, garlic and salt into a food processor. I did it in a few batches because I only have a mini food processor but if you have a full sized, just do it all at once. Pulse the ingredients while drizzling in olive oil until it forms a paste. You might have to scrap down the sides to make sure the nuts and garlic are getting chopped. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
For the salad:
1/2 pound of small pasta (I used a tri-color type from Trader Joes)
1 cup or so of sliced cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup of blanched and sliced green beans
1/2 of a ball of fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into small bites
Boil the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and quickly rinse with cold water to stop cooking and get the pasta color. Toss the pasta with the pesto until evenly coated. Save any extra pesto topped with a little olive oil in the fridge. Toss the pesto coated pasta with the tomatoes, green beans and mozzarella. Add additional pesto if necessary and season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to eat, hopefully on a picnic blanket enjoyed with friends and wine.
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Quick Tip: I like to keep the veggies whole and chunky in this yummy pasta dish.
Thanks again to Whitney In Chicago for this amazing recipe.