Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Pesto Caprese Pasta Salad

I do love the combination of ingredients that comprise a caprese salad: Basil, mozzarella and tomatoes.  This is a great twist on those classic caprese salad components to make a delicious pasta salad.

Here's what you'll need:

2 cups of sliced grape tomatoes
8 oz. of fresh mozzarella, cubed
1 - 16 oz. box of Barilla trumpet pasta  cooked according to package directions, rinsed with cool water and drained

One recipe of pesto:
4 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves, gently washed and dried
pinch of coarse sea salt
  3cloves garlic, peeled
3 T. pine nuts, lightly toasted (I toasted an extra tablespoon for garnish)
2 T. freshly and finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
2 T. freshly and finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3 - 4 T. olive oil
Combine the basil, salt and garlic in the food processor.  Add 2 T. of the olive oil and blend at low speed.  Stop frequently to press the basil down around the blades, until a coarse paste forms.
Toss in the pine nuts and pour in the remaining olive oil.  Blend until the pine nuts are finely ground.  Stir in the grated cheese to form a creamy paste.
Combine the drained pasta with the pesto and add the tomatoes and mozzarella.  Top with a few shakes of red pepper flakes, if desired.

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