Another hot summer night, another quick almost no-cook dinner. All I had to cook for this was the pesto pasta salad and the rest was just blending and assembling.
This is my absolute favorite thing to eat in the summer – fresh basil from the garden mixed with fresh summer squash. Growing up, my parents always ate green and yellow squash, but they cooked it. I’m wasn’t (and still am not!) the biggest fan of veggies cooked soft, so mine are usually raw in my recipes. I guess I like the crunch!
The best thing of all is that I could make bits and pieces of this dinner throughout the day so I wasn’t struggling to make dinner when the kids were screaming at me they are hungry. 10 minutes in the morning? Made the pasta. 5 minutes in the afternoon? Chopped the veggies. 5 minutes during nap time? Make the pesto. Come dinner time, I just had to toss and eat. Winning!
Questions? Lemme know!
Pesto Pasta Salad
- 1 pound pasta, any kind
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup nuts (pine, almond or walnut)
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes or large beefsteak tomato, chopped
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- 1 medium yellow squash, chopped
- 1 can (15 ounces) beans (any kind), rinsed and drained
- Crumbled feta cheese (optional)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. And pasta and cook until al dente (according to package directions). Drain and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, prepare the pesto: in a blender or food processor, roughly chop basil leaves, garlic, nuts, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper. Turn the food processor on low and slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream until mixture comes together.
- To assemble, toss cooked pasta with chopped vegetables and beans. Mix in pesto until covered. Top with feta cheese and enjoy immediately!