Friday, September 16, 2016

Fresh Italian Pesto Pasta Salad


We are still hanging on to summer in Los Angeles as the weather is alternating between very hot, to mild.  It's that time when it is noticeable that the season is starting to change. 

We've eaten salads all summer long and I'm not stopping yet.  I'm going to make all my summer favorites until the leaves fall.  Pasta salad is a classic dish and I love it.  So I thought I'd make one more for good measure.  Something a little different this time, just for fun.

I must confess that I'm addicted to visiting Barnes and Noble and sitting there having an iced tea and pastry while reading special edition cooking magazines.  I also might be know to buy a few!  So browsing one by BHG I came across a wonderful Italian Pesto Pasta Salad.  I also found the recipe on line and you can view it here.

This recipe was calling my name, and I know that MGG loves pesto.  I decided to make this Fresh Italian Pesto Pasta so we could munch on this throughout the week.  I followed their recipe with the exception of substituting the elbow macaroni with rotini.  The jarred pesto really helps pulling this together quickly.  I also wilted the arugula on the hot pasta as it was draining to give it a different texture. 

Fresh Italian Pesto Pasta Salad - Another summer staple

Tender white beans, spicy arugula and toasted pine nuts really go well with the pesto.  Topped with fresh grated parmesan set's this off with a salty bite that finishes this dish beautifully.

Serve this along side grilled chicken or fish. You can easily make this in 30 minutes.   It's light and flavorful and has the fresh ingredients that go so well together.  If you love pasta salads then this will need to be in your recipe box.  It will quickly become a family favorite.


Fresh Italian Pesto Pasta Salad

serves 10

8 oz of rotini pasta
1 7oz jar of basil pesto
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 15oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups baby arugula
1/4 c pine nuts, toasted
Freshly grated parmesan

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water; set aside.

In a large bowl stir together pesto, vinegar, and salt. Add beans, pasta, arugula, and the pine nuts. Toss well. At this point you may serve it or refrigerate several hours.  Top with freshly grated cheese before serving.

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