Pesto Pasta Salad
Although summer is quickly drawing to an end here in Australia
Basil is still plentiful and reasonably priced, so I encourage you to make your own pesto
Homemade pesto is absolutely gorgeous – no bought pesto will ever compare
And you can use it in so many different ways…
Spread on toast with avocado or sliced tomato, toss through any pasta dish or potato salad, use it as a dip (add a little Greek yoghurt if you like), spread on fish before baking or eggplant, in fact you can drizzle it over almost any veggie dish, add to quiches or fritattas, mix into veggie fritters or serve on top and it is deelicious dolloped on top of soup (especially minestrone)
My favourite use for pesto during Summer is in this pasta salad
Which once you make the pesto, is super fast to whip up
You can add whatever you like in pasta salad, but the above are my usual staples
I also sometimes add roasted capsicum or roasted eggplant
In place of tomatoes I have used roasted pumpkin, replaced black olives with green ones and sprinkled with toasted almonds in place of pinenuts
So many options….
And this is the pasta I love to use
You may realise how much of a fan I am of legumes, so when this pasta became available I was thrilled!
Its just another way to enjoy legumes and such a healthy form of pasta
Plus it comes in many different forms and varieties
So I do hope you try making your own pesto and grab a box of pulse pasta so you can get tucked into this deeelicious pasta salad
- 250 gram box pulse pasta
- About a cup of homemade pesto (see recipe below)
- 250 gram punnet of cherry or grape tomatoes
- 2 zucchinis, sliced and pan-fried or baked
- ½ cup pitted black olives
- ½ cup feta cheese (or vegan alternative), crumbled
- 100 grams baby spinach leaves, or more if you like!
- ¼ cup pinenuts, toasted
- Start by cooking pasta as per directions on back of pack
- Note - instructions are usually for 8-10 minutes, I like to use the least time suggested, so 8 mins
- When cooked, drain and allow to cool for about 5 mins
- Toss pasta with pesto and mix well to coat
- Toss with remaining ingredients
- Place in serving dish, sprinkle with pinenuts and enjoy
Or warm up about half a jar of a good pasta sauce and add to it – Yum!
- 1 bunch basil, leaves picked
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 50 grams toasted pinenuts
- 50 grams good parmesan cheese (I used grana padana), or for a vegan version, omit and replace with approx 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
- approx 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt to taste (I used just less than 1/4 teaspoon as cheese is quite salty!)
Throw in food processor and blitz until the texture you like!
Store in fridge or freezer