Pesto Pasta Salad (vegetarian):
With my energy levels at an all-time low (due to treatment) a cheap, quick, easy and of course extremely tasty meal is exactly what I need. I had a gorgeous pesto pasta salad in Roly’s restaurant a few months ago and loved it so much that I wanted to recreate it at home. It is a fantastic dish and can be served hot or cold. It also keeps really well in the fridge, making it a great tasty lunch for the next day. So how does one make this wonderful concoction? Well simply follow these easy instructions below and within no time you will have a scrumptious, healthy dish.
P.s As I don’t have any skills with preparing fresh pasta from scratch, my cheat is to buy some from the supermarket. Don’t judge me ha ha.
- 50g of pine nuts
- 50g of fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano
- a handful of fresh basil leaves
- 1 glove of garlic finely chopped
- 125ml of good quality olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 400-500g of pasta (while the dried fusilli pasta works well, the fresh version is much nicer and cooking time is even shorter)
- 50g of pine nuts (these little fellows are expensive but really make the dish)
- Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (to taste)
Potatoes and green beans: these are optional but make a filling addition. Chicken can also be added.
To make Pesto:
- Lightly toast the pine nuts in a pan. Be careful not to burn.
- Add all the ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth.
- Bring a pot of water, seasoned with salt to the boil and add the pasta. Cook for the duration of time outlined on the packet.
- Drain the water and allow to cool. This can either be done in the pot or by transferring the pasta to a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- While still lukewarm, add the pasta into a large bowl and introduce the pesto, mixing thoroughly to ensure all the pasta is coated. The pesto coats the warmer pasta better.
- Add the pine nuts and further mix through.
- If adding potatoes and green beans do so at this stage. Ensure they are cooked, cooled and cut into small chunks.
- Mix in a few handful of fresh rocket.
- Separate into servings and sprinkle with some Parmigiano-Reggiano to add that extra dimension of taste.
- Serve and enjoy or transfer to an air tight container and store in the fridge.