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This Pine Nut and Arugula Pesto Pasta Salad contains four things I love: pine nuts, arugula, pasta, and feta. I think it’s a delightful combination of flavors that almost everyone will enjoy.
Pine Nut and Arugula Pesto Pasta Salad:
Sometimes I wonder if I should have called this blog Cakes and Pasta Salads. Lol. If calories didn’t count, my diet would consist largely of cakes and pasta salads. Who’s with me?
As I mentioned above, I’m back with another pasta salad. This time I’ve made Pine Nut and Arugula Pesto Pasta Salad. If you’re tired of the same old’ pasta salad recipes (We don’t discriminate here.), you need to give this recipe a try. With lots of bright and fresh flavors, it’s ideal for warm-weather entertaining. (Spring, I know you’re coming!)
I also love this recipe because it’s crazy easy. To make most pasta salads, you have to cut up a handful of different ingredients. With this recipe, however, there’s no cutting. (As Ina Garten would say, “How easy is that!?”)
You will need a food processor for the pesto. (A good quality blender might also work.) Let me walk you through the process of making this Pine Nut and Arugula Pesto Pasta Salad.
How to Make Pine Nut and Arugula Pesto Pasta Salad:
Start by preparing the pasta. For this recipe, I decided to use radiatori. (When fixing pasta salads, I prefer pasta that has lots of nooks and crannies. They do a great job holding onto the dressing and other ingredients.) If you can’t find this exact pasta, choose something similar.
While the pasta boils, prepare the pesto. Just toss the arugula, pine nuts, olive oil, basil, parmesan, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper into a food processor (or powerful blender) and pulse until smooth. Friends, this pesto is so-o-o good. I want to put it on everything.
Once your pasta and pesto are ready, you’re almost finished. I told you this was easy!
Next, grab a big bowl and mix the pasta and pesto. together Then, toss in more arugula, pine nuts, and feta cheese. After another toss or two, your Pine Nut and Arugula Pesto Pasta Salad is complete!
I recommend serving this pasta salad on the day you make it. However, it’s still delicious the following day. If you feel it’s a little dry at that point, toss with a splash of olive oil. I actually saved a portion of this pasta salad and ate it for lunch for two days and it was still mighty fine!
Want more pasta salad recipes? Try these:
- Broccoli and Chicken Pasta Salad
- Southwest Pasta Salad Recipe
- Classic Pasta Salad
- BLT Pasta Salad
- Ramen Noodle Pasta Salad
- California Cobb Pasta Salad
With all its flavors, this Pine Nut and Arugula Pesto Pasto Salas feels and tastes so bright and fresh. And as far as pasta salads go, it’s not all that terrible for you. To make it even healthier you could substitute a whole-wheat or gluten-free pasta if you’d like.
I certainly hope you give this Pine Nut and Arugula Pesto Pasta Salad a shot. Serve it at your next get-together or as a weeknight dinner side dish. Enjoy, my friends!
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Pine Nut and Arugula Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe:
Pine Nut and Arugula Pesto Pasta Salad
- Begin by placing the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook the pasta according to package directions - until al dente. Rinse under cold water.
- Next, prepare the pine nut and arugula pesto. In a food processor, add 1 cup arugula, 1/2 pine nuts, olive oil, basil, parmesan, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Pulse until smooth.
- In a large bowl, gently toss the cooked pasta with the pesto. Add the remaining arugula and pine nuts and toss with the feta cheese. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
- Note: I recommend serving this pasta salad on the day you make it. However, it's still delicious the following day. If it seems a little dry at that point, toss it with a splash of olive oil.
I’m 65 and I’ve never seen that radiatori pasta in my life! And I’ve lived in the US and Canada! It looks so cool! But i’m excited to try it with something else!
I just made this for my moms bday and followed the recipe to a tee. But the pesto didn’t turn out as dark green as yours and it seemed more liquidy. I just tossed the salad and the taste seems more subtle than it should be. My neighbor made this a few weeks ago and i loved it! It looked more like yours than mine. No idea what I did wrong!!
Any thing I can do different? Serving it in a couple of hours for my moms bday!
Hey there, I’m not sure what could have happened. Hopefully it turned out okay in the end.
I made this tonight, actually using whole wheat pasta, and it was maybe the best thing I ever cooked with whole wheat pasta. Really fabulous. Thank you Michael! You and your blog are certainly a lot of fun.