Pesto Pasta Salad

I am a huge pesto fan. I studied abroad in Italy for three months and ate pesto at least once a day (if not for lunch and dinner). Normally, when I make this recipe, I make it like a traditional italian pasta salad with balsamic vinegar and oil, but as I walked through the grocery store and saw all of the ingredients to make the perfect pesto, the gears started turning. This recipe is another super easy and quick one, the eggs are what take the longest if you want to add them in, but they’re totally optional (they add a richness that most oil-based pasta salads don’t have).

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What you’ll need? 

Fresh basil (to your desired amount)

1/4 cup of olive oil

1 teaspoon of fresh, crushed garlic

1/4 cup of pine nuts

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 tablespoon of “classico” store-bought pesto (I know you’re thinking, why would I make pesto just to buy pesto – the store version has a creaminess to it that is super rich and a bit much if you ask me, but when added to the homemade sauce, it thickens it just enough to really coat the pasta)

1 box of Farfelli pasta

2 hardboiled eggs

1/4 cup of feta cheese

1/2 cup of chick peas

1/4 of Kidney Beans

What you need to do? 

Process the ingredients for the pesto in a food processor or blender (on low and pulse) until you’ve reached your own personal ideal texture. I add a little less basil than most – but I don’t like it to takeover the pasta once it’s all mixed together.

Boil the pasta for 7-8 minutes until al dente and then run the strained pasta under cold water to halt the cooking process so your noodles hold shape.

In a large bowl, combine the pasta, pesto, feta, chopped eggs, chick peas and kidney beans until mixed thoroughly and you will have lunch/dinner for an entire week… that’s if you can stop yourself from eating it.

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