pesto pasta salad*

I have been so busy that I haven't been blogging for a couple of days, so I have a ton of recipes I need to catch up on! I am going to start with this amazing pesto pasta salad! I had never made pesto before a couple of months ago, and now I'm hooked! The sad part is, I don't own a food processor at home (I know, crazy) so I have just been making it at work. The kids actually like it, too! Well, mostly the girls. The boys don't really like anything that is anything out of the norm. I'm working on it :).

I am cooking for a ton of people, so I am going to try and make my recipe normal. Also, if anyone ever wants my recipes for a big group, just let me know because I have them on hand in huge quantities also.

Pesto Pasta Salad
by Cundy's Culinary Creations

1 lb. cooked pasta (any kind you would like would work, but I used Barilla shell pasta)
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 medium red pepper, diced
1 medium yellow pepper, diced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes
1/2 cup basil pesto (recipe below)

Cook pasta according to directions. Strain and let cool for a half hour, or until room temperature. Add the fresh mozzarella cubes, cherry tomatoes, green, red and yellow peppers. Then add the basil pesto and toss until evenly coated. Let chill in the fridge at least 1 hour before serving.

Basil Pesto

1 cup basil leaves
1 cloves garlic
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt

Add basil leaves, garlic, parmesan cheese, olive oil and kosher salt into a food processor. Process ingredients to the desired consistency.

I actually added some sundried tomatoes in my pesto. It gives it a little extra color. I love the pesto in this recipe because it adds so much freshness and it's something different than what you normally would see on a pasta salad. It would be perfect for a summer party, too! Of course you can add whatever veggies you would like to the pasta salad. I love olives in my pasta salad, but you can add cucumbers, peas, shredded carrots, green onions, etc. Use your imagination!



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