Pasta salads are pretty much a summer potluck staple. If you go to a cookout you will more often than not find at least one pasta salad being served. I went to one cookout this summer where there were 6 (yes 6) different pasta salads.
I made this salad from Barefoot Contessa because it sounded like a different twist on your basic pasta salad. The dressing from this salad is made from mayo, spinach and pesto….with the addition of peas, this salad is a fun, green dish.
Pasta, Pesto & Peas
(from Barefoot Contessa: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/pasta-pesto-and-peas-recipe/index.html)
Makes 12 servings
- 3/4 pounds fusilli pasta
- 3/4 pounds bow tie pasta
- 1/4 cup good olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups pesto, packaged or see recipe below
- 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 1/4 cups good mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
- 1/3 cup pignolis (pine nuts)
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cook the fusilli and bow ties separately in a large pot of boiling salted water for 10 to 12 minutes until each pasta is al dente. Drain and toss into a bowl with the olive oil. Cool to room temperature.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, puree the pesto, spinach, and lemon juice. Add the mayonnaise and puree. Add the pesto mixture to the cooled pasta and then add the Parmesan, peas, pignolis, salt, and pepper. Mix well, season to taste, and serve at room temperature.