Good Pasta Salad Recipe with Homemade Pesto
This recipe is perfect for home cooks of all calibers; you do not have to be a whiz in the kitchen to rustle up this delicious salad. In fact, this is a good pasta salad recipe to make for the whole family, since it is healthy and delicious, as well as simple to put together.
Stirring a spoonful of pesto through cooked pasta is something many of us do to make a quick and easy meal, but did you know that making your own pesto is almost as easy as opening a jar of it? Of course, homemade pesto has a beautiful flavor too. It is made with pine nuts, garlic, cheese, lemon and basil, and to save any chopping or fiddling around you can throw everything in a food processor with a little oil and make the pesto in a few seconds.
The resulting pesto has a fresh and wonderful taste, and goes magnificently with the cooked bowtie pasta. Add some red onion for crunch, as well as cherry tomatoes and cooked chicken, and you have a delicious salad which can be served on a bed of iceberg lettuce, or even mixed baby salad leaves.
- ¼ chopped red onion
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ½ cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 minced garlic clove
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- ⅔ cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lb bowtie pasta
- ½ cup toasted pine nuts
- 1 pint halved cherry tomatoes
- ½ chopped head of iceberg lettuce, to serve
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a pot.
- Combine the pine nuts, garlic, cheese, basil and lemon juice in a food processor and process until smooth.
- Gradually pour in ⅔ cup of olive oil through the feed tube.
- Process until smooth.
- Brush the chicken with the last tablespoon of oil and season it with salt and pepper.
- Grill or pan-fry the chicken until it is cooked through.
- Let it cool and chop when cool enough to handle.
- Add a tablespoon of salt to the boiling water and cook the pasta.
- Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water and drain pasta.
- Toss the pesto with the chicken, tomatoes, red onion and pasta, adding a little reserved cooking water if needed.
- Season with salt and black pepper and chill for 30 minutes or until cool.
- Serve on a bed of iceberg lettuce.
Pasta salad makes a great dinner when the weather is warm, and a good pasta salad recipe is always great if you are feeding a crowd or filling a buffet table. This one features chicken, tomatoes, bowtie pasta, red onion, and a wonderful homemade pesto, so there is no lack of flavor. In fact, this is one of the tastiest pasta salad recipes ever. Serve it with some lettuce, like in the photo, and everyone will rave about your fantastic homemade pesto, which tastes so much better than the bottled kind. Use penne or pasta twists instead of bowties if you prefer.
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