We hosted a Memorial Day BBQ a few weeks, and I knew I had to come up with a delicious cold salad for the occasion. Since I was little, I have always loved pasta salad in the summer. My mom used to make it all the time, and throw in whatever veggies we had on hand or in the garden. It was always so good! I’ve been trying to grow a couple herbs and veggies this year, so I thought I could make use of my basil plant and make some savory homemade pesto. I adore anything with pesto, so this was a no brainer for me. One thing I realized while grocery shopping though, is that pine nuts are crazy expensive! I have heard you can buy a large bag from Costco for a good price, but you could also make your pesto with a different type of nut…walnuts, almonds…etc.
I really liked the way this pasta salad turned out, so I will be keeping this recipe on standby for all the fun summer BBQ’s and happenings. Of course, if you don’t like a component in this salad, you can always substitute with something else….That is the thing with pasta salad, you can pretty much throw whatever you want into it, and it will turn out delicious.
- 16 oz box (1 lb) of pasta (I like curly pasta noodles or ones with holes in the middle for this)
- 1 cup of homemade pesto or store bought.
- 1/3 cup of mayonnaise
- 1 cup of frozen sweet peas
- 2- 16 oz cans artichoke hearts, chopped(you could probably use 1 if you aren't a huge artichoke fan)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Basil for garnish (optional)
- 1. In a small bowl mix pesto sauce and mayonnaise together and set aside.
- 2. Prepare penne pasta according to package instructions to al dente. Drain pasta well and toss in a large bowl.
- 3. Add frozen peas, artichokes, and tomatoes to pasta and toss with pesto dressing until everything is well mixed and coated.
- 4. Allow the salad to cool in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes before serving.
- 5. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese prior to serving.
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