Thursday, June 16, 2011

My Brother's Pesto Pasta Salad

My little brother David has been making this simple, flavorful salad for years and it’s just so tasty, it’s time to share it with all of you. With just six ingredients, you can make it too. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can make your own pesto sauce, but to stay true to my brother’s recipe (and because I’m still recovering from my injury) I will make it just like he does with the prepared pesto. I cook the pasta in chicken broth for extra flavor, but you could use either well salted water or vegetable broth to keep this recipe vegetarian. When you’re slicing your onion, I suggest making the pieces no longer than the pasta you choose so it makes it easier for your guests to eat. The best part about this recipe is that your measurements don’t have to be exact, just make it to taste. My brother says you can make it a day ahead… just leave out the almonds and cheese until you’re ready to serve it. Take this salad to any summer BBQ and it’s sure to be a big hit. There won’t be any leftovers! This recipe is for a crowd, so feel free to half it for a more manageable portion if you’re not taking it to a party.






What You Need:



1 – 14.5 oz box short pasta (I used penne – Barilla Pasta Plus)
1 – 7oz container pesto (my brother uses Buitoni or Costco’s)
4 oz crumbled goat cheese (or feta if you prefer)
½ cup slivered or sliced almonds (toasted or raw)
½ cup julienne sliced sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, lightly drained
¾ cup or about ½ medium red onion, sliced into small peices (optional or to taste)



What To Do:

Prepare pasta according to packages instructions in salted water or broth.









If you’re going to be eating the salad the same day, combine all ingredients and allow to chill in the fridge until ready to serve. If you’re making this a day ahead, combine all ingredients except cheese and almonds. Refrigerate until ready to serve, mixing in remaining ingredients just before you eat.

Serves 8-10

1 cup is about 289 cal, 13g fat, 3.5g fiber, 10.5g protein, 6g cholesterol

Print recipe. (<--click here to print!)



Bon Appetit!
Mary

31 comments:

TLHintheOC said...

Sounds delicious Mary. I LOVE pesto.

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ TLHintheOC: Thanks Tam! I love pesto too, but only Buitoni or homemade... David says Costco's is good too. Love this salad for work lunches also.

Amy J. and Tiffanie A. said...

This looks so freaking GOOD!! I am throwing a dinner party tomorrow for 25 I am DEF. making this!!

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ Amy J & Tiffanie A: Thanks! It really is as tasty as it sounds. Hope your guests enjoy. Let me know what they think!

The Slow Roasted Italian said...

How lovely this sounds!!! Can't wait to try it.

Olive said...

that is so yummy! Sundried tomatoes, goat cheese and pesto..oh, my! :)

Chung-Ah @ Damn Delicious said...

I love a good pasta salad since they can be eaten cold and no re-heating needs to be done.

This dish has such beautiful colors and looks so simple to make. Thanks for the recipe!

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ The Slow Roasted Italian: Thank you & I hope you like it as much as we do!

@ Olive: Glad you think so :)

@ Chung-Ah: I couldn't agree more. They are perfect for get-togethers because they can mostly be made ahead of time, which I love. Who want to be in the kitchen cooking during a party ?? And you are very welcome! I hope you like it.

Sugar Plum Cupcake said...

this sounds lovely and fresh and summery!

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ Sugar Plum Cake: Thank you! ...it is perfect for a summer BBQ or even portioned out as work lunches. Hope you enjoy!

Pam said...

What a delicious pasta dish!

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ Pam: Thank you! We definitely think so... I made this for Father's Day and me and my Dad's girlfriend ate about a cup serving and the guys at the rest ?!?!?!

Julie said...

girl your brother is a cooking GENIUS!!! this salad looks fabulous and i'm always a fan of anything that includes goat cheeeeze :)

Made in Sonoma said...

This sounds delicious!

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ Julie: I agree !

@ Made in Sonoma: Thank you !

Estela @ Weekly Bite said...

I love the combo of pesto pasta w/feta! Its my favorite :)

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ Estela: Me too! ..and goat feta... to die for.

Jackie @ That Deep Breath said...

I'm definitely going to have to try this. It looks great!! Beautiful pictures too!

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ Jackie: Let me know what you think if you do! ...and thank you :)

Charissa said...

Ooh, wow...your brother must be a good cook. My family (I have four brothers) isn't really...well, let's just say only one of my brothers cooks.

Looks amazing!

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ Charissa: He can definitely hold his own in the kitchen :)

Myrynda said...

DELICIOUS!!! Ive been craving some summery sides and had bookmarked this recipe weeks ago! Finally made it today and it is amazing! The flavors all compliment each other perfectly, I did use Feta cheese and toasted the almonds :) Now I cant wait for dinner! Thanks for sharing!

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@Myrynda: I am so delighted you enjoyed it & you are so welcome !! Thank you for taking the time to stop by and let me know what you thought. Glad to hear someone else out there gets to chow down on this tasty salad. ;)

Stephen said...

I have never been a pesto fan but this looks great. Perfect for a summer luncheon>

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ Stephan: I used to feel the same way, but my brother convinced me to try Buitoni's and I love it. Just the right amount of garlic and parm.

Ari@ThE DiVa DiSh said...

I love pesto salads!! THis sounds amazing :)ESPECIALLY with the goat cheese!

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ Ari: Me too! The goat cheese really makes this salad & if you can find goat feta, even better !!

Lynn said...

Oh this looks tasty, Mary. Might have to make some this weekend.

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ Lynn: It really is! The first time my brother made it for me I was super impressed. Let me know if you try it... would love to hear what you think.

Lynn said...

I just made this, Mary, and it was amazing, as advertised! Would you mind if I post about it and link here? This will become a new summer staple, as we make pesto from our own basil and also dry our own tomatoes (with the dehydrator). I'm always looking for creative uses for what we've preserved. :) Thank you!

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ Lynn: I'm so glad you enjoyed it!! I would be happy to have you post about it and link me :)