The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Pesto Pasta Salad

5.00 Mitt(s) 2 Rating(s)2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5

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Level: Easy

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Description

A scrumptious pesto-flavored salad with crunchy lettuce and yummy noodles. You’ll love this!

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces, weight Short Fusilli Or Rotini (corkscrew) Pasta
  • ⅓ cups Prepared Pesto
  • ½ cups Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • ½ cups Mayonnaise
  • ½ cups Sour Cream
  • ¼ cups Milk, More For Thinning
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Pepper
  • 1 head (large) Romaine Lettuce, Sliced Into 1-inch Pieces
  • 1 cup Grape Tomatoes, Halved
  • ½ cups Black Or Kalamata Olives, Halved
  • 4 ounces, weight Mozzarella Cheese, Cut Into Cubes
  • 4 Tablespoons Pine Nuts (optional)
  • 8  Extra Parmesan, For Sprinkling

Preparation

Cook the pasta in salted water according to package instructions. Then drain it and rinse in cold water. Allow pasta to dry slightly, then toss in a bowl with 4 tablespoons pesto. (Add more if you want the pasta to be more coated.) Add Parmesan and toss. Cover and refrigerate pasta until cold.

Make the dressing by whisking together the mayonnaise, sour cream, and milk with the rest of the pesto. Add salt and pepper, then taste and adjust seasonings as needed. The dressing needs to be somewhat thin and pourable in order to coat the lettuce and pasta later. Set the dressing aside.

If you’re using pine nuts, toast them over medium-low heat in a small skillet until they brown slightly. Set them aside.

To assemble the salads, make a bed of lettuce in a large bowl, then add a generous layer of pesto-coated pasta. Add tomatoes, olives, and chunks of cheese. Spoon a good amount of dressing all over the top; it should be thin enough to seep down into the salad, not so thick it will stay on top of everything.

Sprinkle salads with pine nuts and a little extra Parmesan and serve!

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2 Reviews

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jlpcooks on 4.28.2013

Very tasty! Love this! Will definitely make again!

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ladyaggie on 4.18.2013

LOVE! The only revision I made was to use frozen pesto instead of the jar stuff. The frozen pesto tastes ‘fresher,’ in my opinion, and less oily. I definitely will make this again and in a variety of ways. The pesto dressing is terrific! It could be used as a dip for various things as well. The pesto pasta could be served warm as a side dish too. (My husband would like it that way!) I bought sliced turkey pepperoni to add to my salad, but I found that it really didn’t need anything else. (Why tamper with perfection?) Thank you, Ree! This recipe is deee-lish! Especially great for office lunches!

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