Enjoy this light, refreshing – and slightly different – pasta salad. It will look familiar, but taste surprising, in a very subtle way—try it hot or cold. Be sure to make the pesto well ahead of time for optimum flavor.
1) Cook the pasta according the package instructions. Drain, then toss with olive oil, salt, 4 tablespoons of the pesto, and the vinegar. Stir to blend thoroughly, let it cool to room temperature.
2) Stir in the vegetables, followed by the mozzarella and black pepper to taste.
3) Serve warm or at room temperature – or chill, and serve cold. Top it with additional pesto, if you like, plus any of the other optional toppings.
1) Place the walnuts in a blender or the small bowl of a food processor, and grind to a coarse meal.
2) Add the garlic, cilantro, and salt, and continue to run the machine until it becomes a uniform green paste (some light walnut texture is fine).
3) Run the machine while you drizzle in the oil. Transfer to a container with a tight fitting lid, and refrigerate until use.
Makes 1/2 cup