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plant-based pesto pasta salad with grilled grape tomatoes

by Jackie Newgent  |  June 22, 2020  |  4 Comments

Planning a cookout or picnic? Here’s an easy and tasty salad or side to whip up for your next one. It’s full of flavor thanks to the fresh pesto and bursting grilled grape tomatoes. And it’s fit for nearly everyone’s palate. Have fun!

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plant-based pesto pasta salad with grilled grape tomatoes

  • Author: Jackie Newgent
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad, Side Dish, Pasta
  • Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This pasta salad is full of flavor thanks to the fresh pesto and bursting grilled grape tomatoes. And it’s fit for nearly everyone’s palate. Have fun!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 ounces tri-color grape tomatoes (about 24)
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces dry whole grain rotini or farfalle
  • 1/3 cup fresh vegan basil pesto (see below) or pesto of choice
  • 1½ cups packed fresh baby arugula (1½ ounces)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, pan-toasted
  • 4 lemon wedges

Instructions

  1. Preheat a grill or grill-pan. Insert grape tomatoes onto skewers. Brush with the olive oil. Grill over direct medium-high heat until rich grill marks form, about 8 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, boil pasta per package directions (ideally in salted water), about 10 minutes. Drain, toss with ice cubes to cool, then drain again.
  3. Toss the cooled pasta with the pesto. Then toss with the arugula, grilled grape tomatoes, sea salt, and pine nuts. Adjust seasoning.
  4. Serve with the lemon wedges.

Notes

FRESH VEGAN BASIL PESTO: 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves · 1/2 cup pan-toasted pine nuts or shelled roasted pistachios · 2 to 3 large chopped garlic cloves · zest of 1 small lemon · 2 teaspoons lemon juice · 1/4 teaspoon sea salt · 1/8 teaspoon each crushed red pepper flakes and smoked paprika · 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil  |  In a food processor, pulse all ingredients except olive oil until finely chopped. Then drizzle in olive oil and puree until desired consistency. Makes 1 cup. Freeze extra pesto for later use.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 1/3 cups
  • Calories: 340
  • Sugar: 3g includes 0g added sugars
  • Sodium: 210mg
  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 54g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Protein: 12g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: pasta salad, pasta, salad, pesto, pesto pasta, pesto pasta salad, grilled tomatoes, cookout food, picnic food

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