Summer pesto pasta salad with fresh basil pesto, spiral pasta, pine nuts, olives, peas, and cherry tomatoes.
- 4 cups uncooked spiral pasta (use rice pasta for wheat-free version)
- 1 cup fresh basil pesto
- 2 Tbsp chopped green olives, or olive tapenade
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted (or fresh if you can get them)
- 12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
- Several fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper
1 Cook pasta according to instructions on the package. Make sure the water is salted (at least a half teaspoon per quart). Remove pasta from heat and strain when pasta is cooked, but still firm (al dente).
2 While the pasta is cooking, toast the pine nuts in a small pan over medium-high heat. Keep an eye on them because pine nuts can go from lovely and toasty to acrid and burnt in seconds. When most of the nuts have a blush of golden brown on them, move them to a cool bowl to rest. They will burn if you leave them in the pan.
3 Put pasta in a big bowl. Mix in fresh basil pesto, green olives, and pine nuts. Gently mix in cherry tomatoes, peas, fresh basil leaves and olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.