We're getting so excited for the fall weather but are still craving dishes that are light, fresh and on the healthier side. This Pesto Pasta Salad fits that so well and is a dish that you could even take on your fall picnics!
It's bursting with lemon, garlic, summer herbs and parmesan. You're sure to love this one and it's great for gathering with friends and family.
Ingredients for the Best Pesto Pasta Salad
The best pesto pasta salad is made with the best seasonal ingredients available to you! Here's what you'll need:
Fresh mozzarella: We love to use fresh mozzarella that we dice ourselves because it brings a nice melt-in-your-mouth texture to the salad and also absorbs some of the juices from the vegetables to create its own special flavor.
Seasonal vegetables: This recipe is meant to be made with whatever you have in your house or garden but we love to use all sorts of different vegetables. Just remember to find balance between the varying flavors. Our favorites are corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, red onion and celery,
Pasta: For pasta salad we typically like to use Farfalle or bowtie pasta because once cooked you get that nice absorbent and soft texture at the ends of the pasta, while still maintaining that perfect bite in the center. With pasta salad, you almost want to overcook the pasta so that the pasta can absorb the dressing, but then you lose with the perfect al dente bite. With Farfalle, you get both!
Pesto: While we highly recommend making your own pesto (it's so easy!) you can certainly use your favorite store bought kind.
Making the Pesto Pasta Salad
While there may be a lot of veggies for this pesto pasta salad, which may get a little overwhelming, making the pasta salad is actually quite easy. You simply:
Make the pesto or use your favorite store-bought kind
Cook and strain the pasta
Toss half of the pesto/dressing in with the cooked pasta
Cut your veggies and cheese
Add the veggies and cheese in with your pasta
Dress using the remaining pesto/dressing
Season with salt and pepper and serve
Tips for the best peso pasta salad
Dress the cooked pasta with the pesto while the pasta is still slightly warm: When the pasta is warm, it will be more willing to absorb the pesto. Once cooled completely, the pasta’s pores close and then it does not fully absorb the pesto/flavor.
Season each vegetable with salt individually: When you season each vegetable with salt, you bring out each vegetable’s flavor. Sometimes when vegetables are tossed with pasta and seasoned as a whole, the pasta tends to absorb most of the seasoning and then the vegetables are left bland. You want each vegetable to shine in its own light so in order to do that you have to season in stages.
Enjoy this light and fresh pesto pasta salad!
Cheers and eat well.
Pesto Pasta Salad
With bursts of lemon, garlic, summer herbs and parmesan, this peso pasta salad will have you feeling like you are picnicking in the hills of Tuscany.
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