I made this Pesto Pasta Salad in the summer using up some garden basil but did not get it posted! Now it is fall but this is so good that I will buy fresh basil from the grocery store and make it again!
I used the Bon Appetit Best Pesto Recipe which I love! I only made half of the pesto recipe for this Pesto Pasta Salad. Then I added that to some cooked pasta, chopped up marinated artichokes. spinach leaves, a can of cherry tomatoes… these have become a fav of mine & then some feta! It was just delicious
Simple & you can make it your own by adding some different ingredients! You can use fresh cherry tomatoes instead of the canned ones, they are not that easy to find here in Edmonton. You can add some chopped sun dried tomatoes as well… oh and maybe some cut up olives! The main thing is to use this wonderful pestp sauce & the feta. This flavors the pasta salad beautifully. Use what ever type of small pasta you like. I like to use Rotini for pasta salads as the delicious pesto gets in all of those little ridges!
Here is a picture of the can of cherry tomatoes I like
Here is the recipe
Pesto Pasta Salad
Pesto this recipe is from Bon Appetit called BA Best Pesto
1/ 4 cup pine nuts
1 garlic cloves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 cups of basil leaves
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 box of rotini
1 can artichoke hearts, drained & chopped
1 can cherry tomatoes, drained ( use fresh if you do not have the canned ones)
a couple handfuls of arugula or fresh spinach
1/4 cup crumbled fets cheese
1.Toast the pine nuts. I used a dry skillet. Put the pine nuts in a hot pan, swirl them around and watch closely so they do not burn. When they start to brown a bit and become fragrant they are ready. Let cool on a plate.
2.An easy way to crush garlic in the food processor is with the machine running drop the garlic through the feed tube and it gets chopped up ! Do this with the one clove of garlic used in this recipe & then scrape down the sides of the bolw
3. Add the pine nuts, cheese & basil. Close the lid & with the machine running, slowly stream the oil in through the feed tube. Scrape down the sides as necessary and continue processing until smooth.
4. Season with salt. Set aside
For the Pasta Salad
- Prepare the pasta as directed on the package
- While the pasta is cooking prepare the rest of the ingredients, Drain the tomatoes, chop the artichokes. wash and dry the arugula
- When the pasta is finished dooming drain & let cool briefly
- Put the pasta into a large bowl with all of the other ingredients except the pesto & feta. Mx well to combine
- Add the pesto, mix then add the feta You can chill before serving or serve warm