If you are a pesto fan, then this is the salad for you. This recipe came from my sister Kim, who is a very talented and creative cook. This salad is sure to be a hit at your next cookout. I would double this recipe to bring to a party. Let me know what you think.
- 1 lb Bowtie pasta
- 1 small container Grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 red onion (thinly sliced)
- 1 container Small Mozzeralla balls
- basil 1 bunch, about 2 cups(washed and dried)
- 3 medium size cloves of garlic
- 1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan-reggiano or romano cheese
- 1/8 cup sugar
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Pesto – Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil). Add the garlic, pulse a few more times. Slowly add the olive oil an a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and sugar and pulse again until blended. Add the salt and pepper to taste.
This will make 1 cup of pesto. (Note that pesto is always made to taste, based on the ingredients at hand. So adjust the ingredients to your taste. Most pesto recipes call for Parmesan cheese, you can use Romano which has a stronger flavor).
Then, cook pasta and drain, rinse with cold water. In a large bowl, add the pasta and mix with the pesto. (You will need to add some olive oil, but go easy you don’t want to add much.) Once the pasta and the pesto are nicely mixed, add the grape tomatoes, onions and mozzeralla balls, and blend gently. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with some sprigs of fresh basil.