Pesto Pasta Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes and Mozzarella

By • August 15, 2011 2 Comments

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Serves 16

  • 1 pound box of your favorite store bought pasta, small in shape
  • 1 pound of tomatoes, chopped
  • 12 ounces of mozzarella cheese, chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic (9 cloves)
  • 5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups good olive oil
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  1. Place the walnuts, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, and process for about 15 seconds.
  2. Add in the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour in the olive oil to the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed.
  3. Add the grated Parmesan cheese and puree for a minute.
  4. Prepare the pasta to the directions on the box. If you are in a rush, slightly over cook the pasta, and when it’s draining in the sink run cold water on it. This will stop the cooking process and cool the pasta down.
  5. Meanwhile, chop up the tomatoes and the mozzarella, and set them aside.
  6. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, pesto, tomatoes and mozzarella. Combine well and check for seasoning. Add in any salt and pepper as needed.

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