Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad

Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad

Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad


For the pesto:

2½ cups packed fresh basil leaves

3 cloves garlic

⅓ cup pine nuts

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

½ cup olive oil

For the pasta salad

8 oz dried pasta

1¼ cups pesto, plus ¼ cup for tossing the pasta

½ cup mayonnaise

½ cup sour cream

¾ cup milk

1 15 oz can cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained

2 cups baby arugula

¼ cup pine nuts, toasted

15 sun-dried tomatoes

15 kalamata olives

15 mozzarella pearls

1 roasted red pepper, sliced into thin strips

2 oz Parmesan cheese, shaved


First, make the pesto. In a food processor, combine the basil, garlic, pine nuts, and Parmesan. Pulse until well combined. Then, slowly stream the olive oil through the top of the food processor as it runs, until the pesto comes together. Add salt and pepper and pulse again.

Then, boil the pasta according to package directions. As you wait for it to boil, combine the 1¼ cups pesto, ½ cup mayonnaise, ½ cup sour cream, and ¾ cup milk in a medium sized bowl. Mix well, until the pesto dressing is creamy but smooth. Add more milk if necessary to thin it out to dressing consistency. Refrigerate until ready to use.

When the pasta has boiled to al dente, drain it and let cool. Then, toss with the remaining ¼ cup pesto, cannelloni beans, arugula, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, mozzarella pearls, roasted red pepper, and Parmesan. Once well mixed, pour over the creamy pesto dressing and toss again.

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