Pesto Pasta Salad
- Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Rinse with cold water; drain again.
- Meanwhile, for pesto, in a blender container or a food processor bowl, combine basil, vinegar, nuts, Parmesan, and garlic. Cover and blend or process until smooth. With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil or salad oil and blend or process until the mixture thickens slightly or as needed to moisten.
- Combine pasta, broccoli, olives (if desired), green onion, carrot, and sweet pepper in a large mixing bowl. Pour half of the pesto over the pasta mixture. (Store remaining pesto for another use, such as brushing on grilled meats or vegetables.) Toss lightly to coat pasta mixture. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours.
- To serve, line a salad bowl with lettuce leaves. Transfer pasta mixture to the lettuce-lined bowl. Top with cherry tomatoes or chopped tomatoes. Makes 6 servings.
From the Test Kitchen
Make all of the pesto, otherwise there will not be enough for the blender to puree; leftovers will keep well. You can freeze extra pesto in an airtight container for up to a month. Or, chill it for a couple of days. Bring it to room temperature before serving.
Nutrition Facts (Pesto Pasta Salad)
- Per serving:
- 160 kcal ,
- 5 g fat
- (1 g sat. fat ,
- 1 mg chol. ,
- 286 mg sodium ,
- 25 g carb. ,
- 4 g fiber ,
- 6 g pro.