Italian Pesto Pasta Salad

The key to this easy dish is a quality pesto. If you have a few extra minutes, make your own: In a food processor combine 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, 1/4 cup grated Parmiagiano-Reggiano cheese, 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, 2 Tbsp. water, 1 clove garlic, and 1/2 tsp. each salt and freshly ground pepper. Process until desired consistency.

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  • Makes: 10 servings
  • Yields: 8 cups
  • Prep: 30 mins
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Italian Pesto Pasta Salad
ounces dried elbow macaroni
7 ounce jar purchased basil pesto
cup red wine vinegar
teaspoon kosher salt
15 ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
5 ounce package baby arugula (3 cups)
ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved
  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and rinse well under cold water; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl stir together pesto, vinegar, and salt. Add beans, cooked macaroni, arugula, half of the cheese, and half of the pine nuts. Toss well. Serve at once or cover and chill up to 6 hours. Top with remaining cheese and pine nuts before serving.
Nutrition Facts (Italian Pesto Pasta Salad)
    Per serving:
  • 244 kcal cal.,
  • 12 g fat
  • (3 g sat. fat,
  • 1 g polyunsaturated fat,
  • 1 g monounsatured fat),
  • 5 mg chol.,
  • 474 mg sodium,
  • 25 g carb.,
  • 3 g fiber,
  • 2 g sugar,
  • 9 g pro.
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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