In the summertime, eat like the Italians! In Italy in the summer, pasta dishes are served cold and mixed with fresh ingredients. Locals stick to a traditional Mediterranean diet, so most ingredients are all healthy and freshly-picked. In this pasta salad, we combined three popular ingredients: tasty small tomatoes, mozzarella, and pesto made from fresh basil.
Pesto is traditionally made in a mortar and pestle, but since this method requires a lot of elbow grease, we simplified the process with an immersion blender. Make your own pesto at home instead of buying it, using fresh, quality ingredients!
Yields: 4 servings | Serving Size: 3/4 cup | Calories: 285 | Total Fat: 12 g | Saturated Fat: 3 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 12 mg | Sodium: 129 mg | Carbohydrates: 37 g | Dietary Fiber: 5 g | Sugars: 1 g | Protein: 10 g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 9
- 6 ounces whole grain short pasta (like penne, farfalle, fussili, mezze maniche)
- 12 big fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 1/2 cup Mozzarella, drained from its water and chopped
- Over high heat, boil a pot of salted water. When it starts to boil, put the pasta. Cook according to the number of minutes indicated in the package or until they are al dente.
- When they are cooked, put the pot under the faucet and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Drain then set aside in a bowl. Drizzle about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil so that they won't stick to each other.
- Using an immersion blender, prepare the pesto. Blend the pine nuts, basil, garlic, salt, and Parmesan cheese. While blending, pour the extra virgin olive oil. Set aside.
- In a serving bowl, mix the pasta and the pesto then add the tomatoes and the mozzarella.
- Serve at room temperature or cold.
Here are more delicious salad recipes to choose from:
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