Pesto Pasta Salad

Pesto Pasta Salad
Staff Writer
Cindy’s Table

The pesto in this recipe is a great one to make in bulk and keep on hand whenever you're looking to add a little flavor to pasta, a rice salad, or to even spread on a loaf of bread.

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6
Servings
357
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Notes

Note: I thawed a box of chopped spinach and squeezed the liquid. I only used 1/2 cup of spinach and used the rest for a Greek omelette with the remaining spinach, tomatoes, and feta cheese! If you have fresh baby spinach handy then go ahead and use for the pesto!

Ingredients

For the pesto

  • 1  Cup  fresh basil
  • 1/2  Cup  fresh parsley
  • cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
  • 1/4  Cup  frozen peas
  • 3/4  Cups  spinach (thawed and squeezed)
  • 1/2  Cup  freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2  Tablespoons  pine nuts or walnuts
  • 1/2  Teaspoon  sea salt
  • 1  Teaspoon  freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4  Cup  red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/4  Cup  olive oil, plus more if needed

For the pasta

  • 1  Pound  pasta
  • 1  Cup  low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2  recipe of the pesto
  • 1/2  Cup  frozen peas, thawed
  • 2-4  Tablespoons  pine nuts, plus extra for topping
  • 1/4  Cup  grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping

Directions

For the pesto

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender and purée. Add more olive oil if needed. Taste for additional seasonings.

 

For the pasta

Cook the pasta in salted water according to the package instructions. Drain and add to a large serving bowl. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and then drain rest. Take the chicken stock and add into hot pasta water to dissolve.

Add the pesto, peas, pine nuts, and ¼ cup of the Parmesan cheese and toss together. Add the chicken broth liquid if mixture is a little too thick.

Cover and either keep warm for serving or refrigerate pasta until cold to use later. Before serving, garnish with pine nuts and Parmesan cheese.

 

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
23g
33%
Sugar
6g
7%
Saturated Fat
5g
21%
Cholesterol
26mg
9%
Carbohydrate, by difference
27g
21%
Protein
14g
30%
Vitamin A, RAE
209µg
30%
Vitamin B-12
1µg
42%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
39mg
52%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
419µg
100%
Calcium, Ca
420mg
42%
Choline, total
18mg
4%
Fiber, total dietary
4g
16%
Folate, total
66µg
17%
Iron, Fe
4mg
22%
Magnesium, Mg
71mg
22%
Manganese, Mn
1mg
56%
Niacin
2mg
14%
Phosphorus, P
291mg
42%
Selenium, Se
5µg
9%
Sodium, Na
815mg
54%
Water
129g
5%
Zinc, Zn
2mg
25%

Pesto Shopping Tip

Italian food is about simplicity and letting the ingredients shine. So make sure you get ingredients that are great quality and flavor. Farmers markets and specialty stores will have great produce and products. Just be sure to have some great olive oil.

Pesto Cooking Tip

Unlike other highly regarded cuisines, Italian cooking is usually simple to make with many dishes having only 4 to 8 ingredients. Italian cooks rely chiefly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation.

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