Pesto Pasta Salad with tomatoes and mozzarella!
So this is actually a new recipe to me, but I love it so much that I had to share. I originally saw it in my Cooking Light magazine and thought it sounded delicious. They suggest it for "Meatless Monday" but you could totally add some chicken if you wanted to have a little protein. I didn't when I made it, but you totally could.
(from Cooking Light Magazine, June 2016)
This Caprese-inspired pasta toss is the ultimate summer main for a busy weeknight, outdoor picnic, or lunch on the go.
8 ounces uncooked, whole grain farfalle
2 cups fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
3 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 3/4 cup), divided
1 ounce Romano cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)
1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat, drain. Place pasta in large bowl.
2. Combine basil and next 5 ingredients (through garlic) in the bowl of a food processor; process until smooth. Add basil mixture, tomatoes, and 1.5 ounces mozzarella to pasta; toss to combine. Top with remaining 1.5 ounces of mozzarella and the Romano cheese.
And that's it! SO easy... even I could do it! (True story!)
A few notes :
- I've used penne (in the picture above) and rotini instead of farfalle.
- I used store bought pesto instead of making my own.
- I used Parmesan instead of Romano.
- I used all red cherry tomatoes instead of a mixture of yellow and red (because I didn't have any yellow).
- I used a whole box of pasta instead of what the recipe calls for (half) so I doubled the mozzarella and the tomatoes so it was proportionate and had just as many goodies as it did pasta.
- I literally just made the pasta, cut up the tomatoes, added the tomatoes/mozzarella cheese/pesto to the pasta, sprinkled some Parmesan on top and called it a day.
- After I took the picture, I added avocado to the top because... I love avocado.
It's seriously such a delicious, light, easy, fast meal to make on a weeknight. It made a ton of food, Mason loved it, and Seth and I had left overs for lunch the next two days! I highly recommend it.
Don't forget to mark your calendars... our next Foodie for a Year link up is on August 2nd! On August 2nd, we'll be sharing a quick/easy weeknight meal! I'm so excited for these recipes - it's the topic I've been looking forward to since the beginning!
And in case you forgot to mark your calendars for the rest of the link ups :