Pesto Pasta Salad

Pesto Pasta Salad

This pasta salad was inspired by a hankering for pesto. I had a large container of basil in the fridge and used a recipe in the cookbook that came with my Blendtec blender for a starting point. The final mix was basil supplemented with some spinach/chard/kale mixed greens, garlic cloves, pine nuts, pistachios, parmesan, oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Don’t worry about making too much because pesto is great to have on hand in the fridge or freezer for a quick lunch or dinner.

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Next, I went through the fridge to see what fresh, frozen, or canned veggies were available. Scavenging resulted in:

  • zucchini
  • yellow squash
  • mushrooms
  • eggplant
  • tomato
  • artichoke hearts
  • olives
  • bacon (for topping)

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Rotini pasta is one of my favorites for pasta salad, but you can use whatever you have available. I reserved a bit of the pasta water for cooking the veggies. Cook the pasta a bit ahead of time, so it can cool (unless you prefer warm pasta salad).
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The squashes, mushrooms, and eggplant went into the skillet for a quick sauté.
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Cut up the rest of the ingredients and set aside.
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Rather than add the pesto to the pasta salad, I add it to my own bowl, sparing anyone who doesn’t want the same ratio (potency) of garlic-packed pesto that I do.
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As for a delicious beverage to go with it, I almost opted for wine, but remembered I had a bottle of Duchesse de Bourgogne in the fridge. The sour/sweet beer just sounded great on a hot day, and there are some wine-like characteristics to it. Maybe an unlikely pairing, but it worked well enough for me.
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