Studded with bright green asparagus, sweet peas, decadent bacon, and fresh pearls of mozzarella, Pesto Pasta Salad is a flavorful side dish or light dinner, perfect for spring and summer celebrations!
Last week, I got a hankering for pasta salad. It’s a warm weather staple around here, and I don’t think I’ve enjoyed it since last September. But I do believe it’s high time to change that! Am I the only one who’s way excited to say a definitive adios to winter?! I’ve been so enjoying the verdant green of spring, the bluebonnets and assorted beautiful wildflowers, the warm-but-not-yet-scalding temps, the copious amounts of allergy-inducing pollen, the return of the relentless mosquitos — oh, wait a minute.
Anyway, I decided to concoct a new Pesto Pasta Salad recipe starring a few springtime ingredients that would carry right on through summer. And I’m so pleased with the way it turned out! Plus it was super-duper easy to throw together, and that’s always a bonus.
Basically I boiled my pasta to al dente in plenty of salted water. I threw in my fresh asparagus for the last couple of minutes until blanched bright green. I cooked and drained my peas and roasted my bacon in the oven. And then I tossed it all together with some fresh (albeit store-bought) pesto that I’d thinned with a bit of red wine vinegar and olive oil. Simple, straightforward, and scrumptious!
Once the basil in my herb garden gets a-going, I can’t wait to remake this recipe with homemade pesto. For this version, I bought a tub of freshly made pesto in the refrigerated case of the grocery store. I previously tried making this pasta salad with jarred pesto, and while it tasted just dandy, it wasn’t as bright green as fresh pesto and, consequently, wasn’t quite as pretty in the finished pasta salad.
This would be the perfect side dish to celebrate spring or kick off the opening of grilling season. It would also make a delicious light supper to enjoy while sitting outdoors on a warm, lovely evening. In fact, it’s so good it might even make you forget about your constant sneezing and those mosquitos about to carry you away… 😉
More pasta salads…