Pesto Pasta Salad

Pesto Pasta Salad

It’s been a busy, crazy week. Many of my Starbucks family members have been ill, which means their shifts need to be covered. Super Erin to the rescue! It also snowed during my shift, so my wonderful mother lent me her car, a more reliable steed, to drive home; she worries too much. I ended the evening with my boyfriend who whipped up some turkey burgers on the George Foreman (what a bunch of guys – George and Joshua).

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All this snow is making me long for summer nights. Nothing says summertime like a backyard barbecue with all the fix-ins. Well, it’s not summer in New England with all of this snow that we’re getting…It’s not even spring yet. The groundhog told us that we’ll have six more weeks of winter and you bet he was correct with his prediction. But, a girl can dream of grilled chicken, spiked cilantro limeade (yeah, that’s a thing!), and swimming pools.  I’m dreaming of a warm, breezy June afternoon chockfull of pasta salad and Ryan Montbleau’s Heavy on the Vine album.

 

Let’s talk pasta salad. My friend’s mother makes an orzo pasta salad with pesto, onions, peppers, and tomatoes…it’s the bomb! I recreated it in my own kitchen a dozen times last summer. Fresh pesto is one of my favorite spreads. It goes well on bread, chicken, and pasta. We have our garden growing from May to October and usually do really well with our basil plants. Oh, summer, how I miss you!

Today, let’s channel our inner summer spirits and whip up this pesto pasta salad. I use garlic chicken sausage in this dish, but you could use regular Italian sausage if you’re a fan of red meat. I also use walnuts in my pesto because I don’t like pine nuts (cue Jimmy Fallon’s “Ew!” skit character). This is a simple dish that can be made in under 25 minutes, which is always great in my book. I’m a tad impatient. If you want to skip a step and buy jarred pesto or some from a farmer’s market, by all means, go for it!

 

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I used a garlic and herb chicken sausage that I found at my local supermarket. It’s really delicious and flavorful.

 

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All that green shouts summer:

 

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Pesto Pasta Salad

Ingredients

    Pesto Sauce:
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup walnuts (or pine nuts)
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parmesan cheese (grated)
    Pasta Salad:
  • 3 cups farfelle pasta (cooked al dente)
  • 2 garlic chicken sausage links
  • 3/4 cup fresh mozzarella (diced)
  • 4 large cocktail tomatoes (diced)
  • 3 tablespoons pesto sauce
  • Balsamic glaze (for drizzling)

Instructions

  1. In a food processor for two to three minutes, blend basil, garlic, olive oil until smooth. Add nuts, lemon juice, and parmesan cheese until the sauce is almost creamy. Pesto is naturally thick, but if you like a thinner sauce, add extra olive oil to taste.
  2. Dice sausage links into small pieces and place in frying pan on medium heat for about 8 minutes or until the pieces of sausage are golden brown on each side.
  3. Boil farfelle until al dente; this should be at around 6-7 minutes after putting pasta to boil. The pasta should be cooked, but not completely stretchable. Drain pasta and place in medium sized bowl.
  4. Place pesto sauce on warm pasta and stir until sauce coats pasta. Add sausage, mozzarella, tomatoes. Dress the salad with a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

Notes

This pasta salad is delicious warm; however, it keeps for several days in the refrigerator.

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http://www.missscrambledegg.com/pesto-pasta-salad/

 

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Balsamic glaze adds a little pizzaz to this dish:

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What’s your favorite summer side dish? Are you all getting tired of the snow? Last but not least, have you heard Ryan Montbleau’s Heavy on the Vine album because if you haven’t, give it a listen on Spotify right now <3

Written by Miss Scrambled Egg

Erin is the author of Miss Scrambled Egg. She is a barista, teacher, and blogger. She is slightly overwhelmed by the sight of carrot cake and Bernese Mountain Dogs.
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