Pesto Pasta Salad


I feel kind of silly putting this here, because it's so simple, but it seems to be one of my more popular posts on Pinterest, so here it is. A basic pesto pasta salad for your lunch, light dinner, picnic, or potluck.


  • 5 cups of basil- I throw in the whole bunch, but if you get yours from the farmers market like I do, be sure to remove the heavier stems and stalks.
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts (or walnuts, or almonds, or whatever nut you like)
  • 1 1/2 cup quality olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 package of pasta (above I'm using brown rice fusilli)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup shaved parmesan or romano or asiago 
  • zest of one lemon



  1. Toast your nuts in a frying pan and let cool
  2. In a food processor, pulse together nuts, basil, salt, pepper, lemon juice
  3. With the food processor running, pour in the olive oil in a slow stream
  4. Add the 1/2 cup of grated parmesan
  5. Scoop out your pesto and set aside. 
  6. Boil your pasta, drain, and rinse with cold water
  7. In a large bowl, mix together your pasta with desired amount of pesto (about 8 oz)
  8. Add tomatoes, whatever veggies you like, nutmeg, lemon zest and shaved parmesan. Combine well.