Tomato Mozzarella Pesto Pasta Salad
This Caprese-inspired pasta toss is the ultimate summer main for a busy weeknight, outdoor picnic, or lunch on the go.
- PESTO SAUCE:
- 16 ounce uncooked penne pasta
- 1 cup pesto sauce (recipe follows)
- 1 cup boconccini (small fresh mozzarella balls marinated in olive oil)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
- 3 gloves garlic, peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Prepare pasta according to package directions until al dente. Rinse in cold water and drain.
Toss cooked pasta with prepared pesto sauce. Cool pasta mixture. Divide fresh baby spinach on serving plates. Arrange pesto pasta mixture on top. Garnish with fresh mozzarella balls and cherry tomatoes.
In a food processor or blender, combine basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt and half of olive oil. Process steadily until mixture turns into a grainy paste, while adding the rest of the olive oil in.
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