Pasta

November 22, 2021

Pesto Pasta Salad

Pesto Pasta Salad

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:

  1. Make the pesto or use your favorite store-bought kind
  2. Cook and strain the pasta
  3. Toss half of the pesto/dressing in with the cooked pasta
  4. Cut your veggies and cheese
  5. Add the veggies and cheese in with your pasta
  6. Dress using the remaining pesto/dressing
  7. Season with salt and pepper and serve

Tips for the best peso pasta salad

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Author:

Alejandra Diaz del Valle

Prep:

20

min

cook:

10

min

total:

30

min

serves:

8

Ingredients

  • ½ pound farfalle pasta
  • ⅓ cup  fresh mozzarella (small diced)
  • ½  cup fresh tomatoes (small diced)
  • ¼ cup bell peppers (small diced)
  • ¼ cup red onion (minced)
  • ¼ cup celery (thinly sliced)
  • ¼ cup corn (blanched + cut)
  • 2 cups pesto
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. If you're making the pesto from scratch, you'll want to make it first and store in the fridge or simply buy your favorite store bought.
  2. Fill a pot with about 6 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, add about 2 tablespoons of salt to the water, then submerge the corn (shucked but still on the cob) into the water and let it cook for about 1 minute.
  4. After one minute, remove the corn from the boiling water and submerge it into ice water to stop the corn from cooking any further.
  5. Cook the pasta in accordance with the time on the box, or until the pasta is slightly past al dente. (you want the pasta cooked a little longer than if you were cooking it for a hot pasta dish.)
  6. While the pasta is cooking, cut all your vegetables. As you cut them, season them lightly with salt and a few cracks of pepper. After they are seasoned, transfer them to a large bowl.
  7. Dice the mozzarella and season that as well. Add it to the bowl with the vegetables and toss gently.
  8. After the pasta is finished cooking, strain it and run cool water over it until it cools down to about room temperature. Transfer it into a large bowl and dress with half of the pesto (1 cup).
  9. Add the vegetables to the pasta and dress using the remaining pesto (1 cup). Gently toss everything together and taste to check the seasoning.
  10. Adjust the seasoning accordingly and chill in the fridge for about 1 hour or until the pasta is cooled and all the flavors have time to come together. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

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