Choose fresh, seasonal ingredients for a summer treat!
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!
Pasta Salad with Pesto, Mozzarella and Tomatoes
- 6 ounces whole-grain short pasta like penne, farfalle, fusilli, mezze maniche
- 12 basil leaves big, fresh
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese grated
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- 1 garlic clove
- 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.
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Here are more delicious salad recipes to choose from:
- Paleo Basil Cashew Chicken Salad
- Spring Salad in an Avocado
- Cleanse and Detox Superfood Salad
- Farro Salad with Apples and Walnuts
- Mediterranean Three Bean and Corn Salad
- Creamy Fennel Salad with Orange Wedges and Fresh Mint
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We’d love to hear what you think. Leave us a comment in the comments section below.
Can there be another sauce to use instead of pesto? I have a tree nut and peanut allergy. Thanks!
Chas, You can use two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper. Toss in a handful of torn or chopped fresh basil leaves.
About how much pesto does this recipe need if I buy premade pesto?
Cindy, I would recommend about 1/3 cup for the entire recipe. Or, you could add 1/4 cup and have additional if somone would like more pesto. 🙂
I can not eat nuts at all. Any idea what I could sub for them?
Grace, For the pesto, simply eliminate any nuts.