Yummy pesto pasta salad-hot or cold

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This is a really easy thing to make for a party, quick dinner or have unexpected guests.  This can be served hot or cold.

Pesto Recipe:

Big bunch of basil

Extra Virgin Olive oil– about 3/4 cups

1 cup pine nuts

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 garlic clove

Directions: in a mixer put basil and pine nuts and mix, then add the parmesan cheese and garlic clove.  While it’s spinning stream in the olive oil.  You will have a lot of pesto and can divide up into little containers that you can freeze for later use.

 

Different uses for Pesto:  On little toast for a quick hors d’oeuvres- add a sliced cherry tomato and a few pine nuts, it can be added on grilled chicken, fish or steak… it just adds a bit of flavor… you can even toss a spoon in soup.  The ideas go on and on-even a dollop on a caprese salad adds color and taste! I am using it as a simple pasta salad.

 

For the pasta salad:  Use a box of shapely noodles… it grips the pesto better.  Halve a bunch of cherry tomatoes, add cut basil leaves with your fingers or sissors, salt and pepper to taste and add a bunch of soup spoons of pesto—toss it all together.  You want the pasta to be really green and not too dry-so add in as many spoons of pesto as you think-depending on the amount of pasta you use.  You can also add olive oil for moisture. Serve hot or cold.  Add protein to this salad:  shrimp, chicken or scallops have worked well, but I prefer to add protein when I serve the dish hot, but if you serve it cold, chicken is always a good option.  You can make this a day in advance for your party, picnic or buffet if you are serving it cold!  YUM

 

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