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Summer is the perfect time to enjoy light, fresh meals. What could be better than a tasty pasta salad that is easy to make and packed with flavor? Almost everyone likes this summer pasta salad with homemade pesto and is exactly what you need for a sunny lunch or a nice picnic in the park. For you: the recipe for this delicious salad. Enjoy!


For ± 4 people

  • 200 grams of pasta (preferably fusilli or penne)
  • A bag of mixed lettuce
  • 250 grams snack tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • For the homemade pesto:
    • 50 grams of fresh basil
    • 30 grams of pine nuts
    • 50 grams Parmesan cheese, grated
    • 1 clove of garlic
    • 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
    • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation method

1 - Cook the pasta

Start by cooking the pasta according to the package directions. Make sure the pasta is al dente so that it retains a nice bite in the salad. Drain the pasta and rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain well.

2 - Make the pesto yourself

While the pasta is cooking, you can prepare the homemade pesto. You will need a food processor or a mortar for this. Place the basil leaves, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and garlic in the food processor and blend until well combined. While the machine is running, gradually add the olive oil until you have a nice, smooth pesto. Season with salt and pepper.

3 - Assemble salad

Take a large bowl and mix the cooked pasta with the mixed lettuce and the halved snack tomatoes. Add the homemade pesto and mix everything well, so that the pesto is evenly distributed over the pasta and vegetables.

4 - Serve and enjoy

Your summer pasta salad is now ready to serve! This dish is perfect as a light lunch, but also works well as a side dish at a barbecue or picnic. Serve the salad cold and garnish with some extra Parmesan cheese and a handful of pine nuts for a crunchy touch.

Tips and variations

  • Extra vegetables: Add extra vegetables such as cucumber, pepper or olives for an even richer salad.
  • Protein options: Make the salad even more nutritious by adding grilled chicken, tuna or feta.
  • Vegan option: Replace the Parmesan cheese with a vegetable variant or leave it out to make the pesto vegan.

With this recipe you can vary endlessly and adapt it to your taste and preferences. This pasta salad is not only super tasty and refreshing, but also quick and easy! Perfect for those hot summer days when you don't want to spend too long in the kitchen.

Tell me, are you going to make it?

Image: Eaters Collective on Unsplash

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