Simple Pesto Pasta Salad with Tomatoes
If you were to use hot ingredients to make the following recipe rather than cold ones, it would not be a salad, but since we are using cold ingredients and letting the pasta cool down, it is a very tasty pasta salad recipe. Combining pasta with mozzarella, pine nuts, tomatoes, parmesan, pesto, and basil, this typical Italian pasta salad recipe is ideal as an appetizer or lunch. The ingredients are similar to what would feature in a chilled salad in any good restaurant in Italy, and the pesto adds an especially great flavor to this dish.
Feel free to add your own touches, perhaps in the form of sliced green or black olives, capers or chopped crispy bacon for some salty crispiness, or some grilled vegetables. Grill them and let them cool down and then slice them and add the veggies to the pasta. If you fancy this idea, try asparagus, zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, or any other vegetables you like. Another idea is to add some artichoke hearts. Get the ones packed in oil and chop them roughly before tossing them with the pasta or using them in the topping. Cheddar cheese would add a sharper flavor but not be so typically Italian and you can even grind some chili powder over the top if you fancy a lively zing.
You could also toss the pasta with all the other ingredients, rather than topping the pasta with the tomatoes, cheese and pesto. It is up to you. Some people like to toss the pasta with everything to combine all the ingredients and others prefer the more elegant presentation of arranging the toppings on the pasta, so do whichever you prefer.
- ½ lb pasta shapes (perhaps penne or pasta shells)
- 4 oz grated mozzarella
- 3 tablespoons green pesto
- 6 chopped sundried tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- 4 chopped ripe tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons shaved parmesan
- 6 sprigs fresh basil, for garnish
- Salt, to taste
- Olive oil, as needed
- Cook the pasta in salted water, following the cooking advice on the package, until it is al dente.
- Drain it and let it cool.
- Toss the pasta with a little olive oil, and then divide it between 6 serving bowls.
- Top each one with the mozzarella, chopped tomatoes, pine nuts and sundried tomatoes.
- Grind some salt and black pepper over the top and add the parmesan.
- Dot some pesto on the pasta salads and garnish each one with basil.
This delicious pasta salad recipe has a typical Italian flavor, blending tomatoes, pesto, mozzarella, parmesan and more. If you are a fan of hot pasta dishes, why not make a pasta salad recipe? Pasta is tasty served hot, warm, or chilled and, although some pasta dishes can be very heavy, this one is light and refreshing. You can serve small portions as an appetizer or larger ones as lunch or dinner. Throw in some black olives, red onion, sliced pickles or any other ingredients you fancy and you can add your unique touch to this Italian pasta salad recipe.
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