Pasta salad is delicious – WHEN its done right. I am kinda picky about my pasta salad which is odd b/c I eat pretty much everything that comes in my path. Usually restaurants throw in a bunch of pasta, red onion and a basic Italian salad dressing and charge way too much for that thoughtless dish. No thank you!!
I love to make this salad for when I have friends over. They always think its store-bought, but its not! Its super easy to make and is bursting with flavor. If I have leftovers, I use for lunches or quick dinners on weeknights. Grill up a chicken breast or some shrimp – toss it all together and you’ve got a delicious meal. Enjoy!
- 3/4 pound rotini pasta
- 3/4 pound bow tie pasta
- 3/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
- 2 cups pesto, store-bought or click here to try my recipe
- 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2/3 cup good mayonnaise
- 1 cup freshly grated Parm Ramano
- 1 small bag frozen petite peas, defrosted
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- Bring a large heavily salted pot of water to a boil. Add all pasta. Cook in boiling water for about 8 to 10 minutes total, but taste to ensure its done. Strain and rinse gently with cold water. Toss with olive oil and set aside.
- Meanwhile, cook the spinach in the microwave according to package directions. Strain into a colander, rinse with cold water and press out the liquid with the back of a spoon. I also grab paper towels and do one last smoosh through the colander to get out any additional liquid. Set aside.
- In a very large bowl, stir together pesto, spinach, lemon juice, balsamic, mayonnaise, salt and black pepper. Add pasta, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, peas, and 1/2 cup the parmesan cheese.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Before serving, sprinkle with other 1/2 cup of the cheese.