Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe
Easter Salad Recipes from Razzle Dazzle Recipes
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Pesto Pasta Salad

1 cup uncooked corkscrew macaroni (3 ounces)
1 cup snipped fresh basil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped pine nuts, walnuts, or almonds
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup olive oil or salad oil
1-1/2 cups broccoli florets, sliced
1/2 cup pitted ripe olives, halved (optional)
2 to 3 green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)
1 large carrot, thinly sliced (3/4 cup)
1 medium red, yellow, or green sweet pepper, chopped (1 cup)
Lettuce leaves
12 cherry tomatoes or 1 medium tomato, chopped (1/2 cup)

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Rinse with cold water; drain again.

Meanwhile, for pesto, in a blender container or a food processor bowl, combine basil, vinegar, nuts, Parmesan, and garlic. Cover and blend or process until smooth. With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil or salad oil and blend or process until the mixture thickens slightly or as needed to moisten.

Combine pasta, broccoli, olives (if desired), green onion, carrot, and sweet pepper in a large mixing bowl. Pour half of the pesto over the pasta mixture. (Store remaining pesto for another use, such as brushing on grilled meats or vegetables.) Toss lightly to coat pasta mixture. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours.

To serve, line a salad bowl with lettuce leaves. Transfer pasta mixture to the lettuce-lined bowl. Top with cherry tomatoes or chopped tomatoes.

Makes 6 servings.

Make-ahead tip: Make all of the pesto, otherwise there will not be enough for the blender to puree; leftovers will keep well. You can freeze extra pesto in an airtight container for up to a month. Or, chill it for a couple of days. Bring it to room temperature before serving.


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