Pesto Pasta Salad with Basil Microgreens

Do like pesto? I love pesto…and hummus. They’re probably my two favorite Mediterranian foods. If there’s a choice between red sauce and pesto I’ll pick the pesto every time. Especially when it comes to pizza. I have to say this is probably one of my favorite pesto dishes. It’s a simple recipe with just a few ingredients. It’s also pretty healthy especially when you use microgreens.

Aside from the pesto, it’s kalamata olives, mozzarella balls, tomatoes, and some parsley.

Pesto

So before we make the pasta salad let’s start with the pesto. Pesto tends to have four main ingredients. Those being basil, some hard cheese (usually parmesan cheese), some form of nut or seed (usually pine nuts), and olive oil.  For this recipe, I’m just using basil microgreens, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts. However, you can just use your favorite pesto recipe. If you want to add more greens to your pesto you can spinach along with the basil. If you don’t have any parmesan cheese you can use Romano or asiago. If you don’t have pine nuts you can also use sunflower seeds.

This recipe will make about 1 cup of pesto. For my pesto I used:

  • 2 cups basil microgreens
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese.
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts.
  • 1/3 cup olive oil.
  • 3 cloves garlic (roasted or fresh)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Pasta Salad

Alright, now that we have the pesto now we can make the pasta. This recipe serves 6 and you’ll need:

  • 12 ounces any short pasta type (I used Gemelli)
  • 1 cup microgreen basil pesto
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh mozzarella balls halved
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives pitted and halved (you can also just use your favorite green olives)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  1. Bring a pot of water to boil and start cooking the pasta.
  2. Cut the tomatoes, olive, and mozzarella balls in half and combine in a large bowl.
  3. Once the pasta is cooked rinse in it cold water to cool it.
  4. Chop the onion and the parsley then add it to the tomatoes, olive, and mozzarella balls.
  5. In another large bowl combine the pasta and pesto.
  6. Then add the chopped mixture to the pasta.

That’s it! You can chill it if you prefer to serve it at a colder temperature or just serve as is.

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