11 August 2009

Pesto Pasta Salad for Presto Pasta Nights


Pesto Pasta Pasta

Say that a few times quickly ..."pesto pasta salad for presto pasta nights...pesto pasta salad for presto pasta nights:D Even if it is a bit of a tongue twister it is one of the most delicious pasta salads I have had in quite some time. As always I neglect pasta far too often, but, I do try and join in on the fun whenever I do over at Presto Pasta Nights. I am therefore submitting this dish to Ruth over at Once Upon a Feast . This weeks event is being hosted by Pyschgrad, who teams up with the other half of the dynamic duo, her mom Giz over at Equal Opportunity Kitchen.


I must admit this version of pasta salad really appealed to me and peaked my interest. Not only does it cry out with two of my favourite fresh summer ingredients found locally of basil and sun-ripened tomatoes but it is also "light". Instead of mayonnaise it uses yogurt as the base. Mingling with the fresh basil sauce this salad is a must try. Basil is truly an incredible herb. Its spicy and mildly peppery flavor is a welcome addition to pasta.

You could easily substitute the grated Parmesan cheese with some feta and make a Greek version that would be "to die for"!!!


**Pesto Pasta Salad*
based on a recipe from Cooking Light

Pesto:

3 cups packed fresh basil
1 cup packed fresh parsley
1 - 2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Salad:

1 pound gemelli or other short pasta
1 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt
2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

To make pesto: In a food processor puree basil, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper and pine nuts until smooth. With motor running, add olive oil and process until a thick paste forms. Add Parmesan and pulse twice. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired.

To make salad: Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and run under cold water to stop cooking.

In a large bowl, combine pesto and Greek yogurt and stir until well blended. Add cold pasta and toss to coat with dressing. Top with tomatoes. Serve salad at room temperature or cover and refrigerate to serve chilled
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32 comments:

  1. Awesome Val! This looks so good. We've got a few pesto submissions (which is great, because it's basil season). I'm also noticing a theme of creamy sauce made with products other than cream -- which sounds great to me! I'm always avoiding cream sauces -- but with yogurt as an option, I don't have to.

    Thanks for participating!

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  2. Pesto is so delicious and very versatile! I cannot resist such a scrumptious salad!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  3. great recipe using yogurt instead of mayo. nice summer pasta dish!

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  4. I love this recipe, Val. Just delicious!

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  5. That looks like a perfect dish for muggy, summer evenings. Pass me a bowl and a glass of wine and I'm all set! ;)

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  6. I totally agree with you regarding the flavour of basil...so delicious and so versatile. I absolutely love the addition of yogurt in this Val

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  7. The yogurt is an AWESOME touch! Why does basil taste so good and refreshing? I just love it - especially during summer!

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  8. This sounds fabulous. I am always looking for alternatives to cream and mayonnaise.

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  9. when i read your title, i thought to myself "say that 5 times fast"--ha! great dish, val. pesto with fresh and fragrant basil is hard to top.

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  10. I adore fresh basil, pine nuts and parmesan - everything you have here really! Mmmmmm....

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  11. This salad sounds sooo good. I love pesto, will always love pesto. Those Genovese really knew what they were doing when they invented pesto.

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  12. Looks almost as gorgeous as it sounds. And I don't think I'd want to say Pesto pasta salad for Presto Pasta Nights" with my mouth full!

    Thanks for sharing and now I'm off to whip some up for lunch.

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  13. I am not a huge fan of pasta , but this looks absolutely appetizing, I just might give it a try. Rita

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  14. I keep looking at the basil outside my kitchen window and thinking about pesto. I love the stuff, though I usually make mine with walnuts instead of pine nuts.
    This salad sounds like a great way to use it!

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  15. Yummy basil pesto. Can't say my basil flourished this summer as it did last, but I still managed to get some jars of pesto ready for the fall and winter months. I like your addition of the parsley, might try that.

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  16. I like the addition of the parsley in the pesto...it just breaks the pungent taste of the basil!!! Great salad!!!

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  17. This is my favorite kind of pasta salad.

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  18. Val I love Basil, this look so tasty Gloria

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  19. Mmmm, pesto and Greek yogurt... Two of my favorite things, all combined in one pasta salad! YES, please! :-) Gorgeous!

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  20. This sounds great. The pesto looks really yum!

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  21. Val,
    I love pasta salad. This one looks great and so flavorful. I like the yogurt base.

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  22. Hi there!!!

    I love pasta salads... and gosh, GREEK YOGURT!!!! I'm loving it!

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  23. I have started using yogurt in dang near everything over mayo. It just seems more summery and light and I love the fact yogurt does not overpower like mayo can.

    Basil is my favorite and I am hoping to actually attempt sun dried tomatoes here soon with my leftover tomatoes.

    Basil, parsley, and thyme are the herbs I require in my garden no questions asked.

    Nicely done!

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  24. I love pesto pasta salads! They are so versatile and can really be eaten at any temp. Mmm.

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  25. I just made pesto yesterday and absolutely love it, but next time I have to try it your way. I love it with the yogurt and cherry tomatoes. Yum!

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  26. ooops...you've done it again :).. how clever to use yogurt - impressive. I would be in foodie heaven with this for lunch right about now.

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  27. As sit here at work with nothing to eat for lunch but some cheese, sigh, I'm now craving your pasta salad!

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  28. Whoa. The yogurt is a really interesting twist on a classic.

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  29. That is a tongue twister for sure! :-) I love pesto, as was just thinking yesterday that I haven't had it in anything for a long time. I love that gemelli pasta shape you used. This sounds so good, especially with that yummy Greek yogurt! YUM!

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  30. Mmm love pesto and love that this is made with yogurt!

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  31. Found this on Pinterest and thought it would be a great way to use up some of my giant basil plant. It smells delicious!

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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