Basil Pesto Cherry Tomato Pasta Salad

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Ingredients

8 ounces rotini pasta
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

1.Cook the rotini pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
2.In a food processor, combine the basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. Pulse until finely chopped.
3.With the motor running, slowly pour in the olive oil until the pesto is smooth and well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4.In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta with the cherry tomatoes and basil pesto until well coated.
5.Serve immediately or refrigerate for later. Enjoy!

Cold pasta salad with basil pesto and cherry tomatoes is popular in various regions around the world, especially in countries with a Mediterranean influence.

Benefits of Cold Pasta Salad with Basil Pesto and Cherry Tomatoes:

Nutrient-Rich Ingredients

This salad is packed with nutrient-rich ingredients, including pasta, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, and olive oil, providing a variety of essential vitamins and minerals.

Antioxidant Boost

Cherry tomatoes and basil are rich in antioxidants, helping to combat oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.

Heart-Healthy Fats

The basil pesto dressing contains heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil, which may reduce the risk of heart disease and improve cholesterol levels.

Fresh and Flavorful

The combination of sweet cherry tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, fragrant basil pesto, and tangy Kalamata olives creates a delicious and satisfying dish bursting with fresh flavors.

Versatile and Customizable

This salad can be easily customized to suit personal preferences and dietary needs, offering flexibility in ingredient choices and quantities.

Convenient and Make-Ahead

Perfect for meal prep, this salad can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for several days, making it a convenient option for busy schedules.

Refreshing and Light

Unlike heavier pasta dishes, this salad is light and refreshing, making it ideal for warm weather or when craving a lighter meal option.

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