Pesto Pasta Salad
This pesto pasta salad is destined for your next gathering. Or at least, that’s what I hope! This recipe is light and so fresh. It’s perfect for parties, picnics and weeknight dinners, from spring through fall. Leftovers keep well for lunch, too.
Pesto and pasta are the stars of this show, naturally. To make it a pasta salad, I added a pint of cherry tomatoes, a few handfuls of fresh arugula, and some cheese. I love salty feta in this recipe, though mozzarella and Parmesan are also great.
- 1 pound whole grain pasta (fusilli, rotini, penne or farfalle)
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- 3 handfuls baby arugula or spinach
- Optional cheese: ½ cup or more crumbled feta cheese, little mozzarella balls or grated Parmesan
- Optional additions: ½ cup thinly sliced Kalamata olives and/or 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)*
- ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves
- ½ cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- ¼ cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
- 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil