This recipe was inspired by one I found in this month’s Cooking Light magazine. This pesto pasta salad paired perfectly with the Herb-Shallot Roasted Chicken Thighs that I served it with. I used store bought pesto because I had it on hand, added some baby heirloom tomatoes, bits of mozzarella, some small nicoise olives, along with some toasted pine nuts and fresh basil. Seriously simple to throw together and a huge hit with all of us with such a great combination of flavors and textures. My kids and husband all took the leftover pasta salad for lunch today and said it was even tastier. I have a feeling that this pesto pasta salad will be a regular on our table this summer.
Cook the farfalle in well salted boiling water per instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking; drain as much water as possible. Place into a large bowl and toss the pasta with the pesto until evenly coated. Place into the refrigerator and let flavors mingle for 15 minutes.
Add the heirloom baby tomatoes, bits of mozzarella, nicoise olives, toasted pine nuts, and fresh basil to the pasta. Season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste; toss gently to combine. Taste and add more pesto if needed. Serve. Enjoy.