Pesto Pasta Salad

Serves: 6

The season for potluck barbecues is here and a quick and easy dish to prepare for a gathering is pesto pasta salad!

Yield: Serves 6-8
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:


4 cups uncooked fusili pasta (use rice pasta for wheat-free version)
1 cup fresh basil pesto
2 tablespoons chopped green olives, or olive tapenade
1/3 cup pine nuts
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted (or fresh if you can get them)
12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
several fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper


1 Cook the pasta: Cook pasta according to instructions on the package. Make sure the water is salted (one and a half teaspoons per quart). Remove pasta from heat and strain when pasta is cooked, but still firm (al dente).

2 Toast pine nuts: While the pasta is cooking, toast the pine nuts in a small pan over medium-high heat. Keep an eye on them because pine nuts can go from lovely and toasty to acrid and burnt in seconds.

When most of the nuts have a blush of golden brown on them, move them to a cool bowl to rest. They will burn if you leave them in the pan.

3 Mix pasta with pesto, pine nuts, olives, tomatoes, basil, olive oil: Put pasta in a big bowl. Mix in fresh basil pesto, green olives, and pine nuts. Gently mix in cherry tomatoes, peas, fresh basil leaves and olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve at room temperature.


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