Creamy Pesto Summer Pasta Salad
A vibrant summer pasta salad tossed in a creamy pesto dressing and topped with fresh tomatoes, toasted walnuts, Parmesan cheese, and lots of basil.
Summer in Minnesota is chock-full of get-togethers. Picnics, weddings, BBQ’s, and small town festivals. On any given weekend you may find yourself at some sort of social gathering that ends with fireworks and a street dance. You will most certainly find a dazzling array of salads that are good for feeding a crowd – potato salads, macaroni salads, and other various forms of pasta salads. Trust me, no one is leaving these things hungry. And you know what? I love em’ all. I can put down some macaroni salad like no one’s business. This Creamy Pesto Summer Pasta salad puts an Italian twist on the classic. It’s full of vibrant and fresh flavors while still retaining that hearty quality that you come to expect from a pasta salad. Pair it with some freshly grilled bratwurst and corn on the cob and you might even get an introvert like me to show up at your party.
The key to any pasta salad is the dressing which provides a sort of base for the whole thing. This dressing couldn’t be easier. Part of what makes it so easy is the jarred pesto sauce. You can certainly use homemade pesto if you’re feeling ambitious, but hey – it’s summer in Minnesota and I’m not spending all my time in the kitchen. Simply combine a heaping 1/2 cup of mayo, 3/4 cup good quality jarred basil pesto sauce, 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp. sugar, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk together until completely combined. Set the dressing aside for a few minutes to let the flavors meld together.
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