Pasta salad was something my sister and I reserved for “special occasions” as kids, largely because it was so rarely served in our home. For that matter, on the picnic table.
We did have family barbecues, whether for Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, or just a Saturday in the summer. Rice was always our go-to side dish when we grilled steak or chicken wings on the grill.
Woohoo, you’re a Chinese person!
Serve our soy butter-glazed ribeye on top of some steaming white rice, and tell me it isn’t better than spaghetti or potatoes (but seriously).
Breaking from the norm, this Basil Mint Pesto Pasta Salad is a refreshing change of pace. In addition to pesto, strawberries are an intriguing, important ingredient in this dish. I needed to make use of the large quantity I had stashed away in the fridge.
My leftover basil and mint from a previous recipe (Thai Chicken Stir-Fry with Basil and Mint) went into pesto, so I figured I’d use them in a pasta salad for any Fourth of July or other summer get-together. Basil, mint, and strawberries all mix well together in sweets and drinks.
If you’re still skeptical after reading this post, I’m here to inform you—it works.
This is how you do it!
- 8 oz. of mezzi rigatoni
- 8 thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/3 cup of walnuts
- 1 cup of basil leaves
- 1 cup of mint leaves
- ⅓ cup of parmesan cheese
- 3 cloves of garlic
- Salt and pepper
- 1 pint of grape tomatoes
- quartered strawberries
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- Cook the walnuts until aromatic in a dry skillet over medium heat.
- Add the cooled pasta to a food processor, along with the basil, mint, parmesan, garlic, salt, and pepper to taste. Make use of a food processor and gradually stream in a little extra olive oil.
- Cook pasta as per package instructions. In a big bowl, dump the cooked pasta after it has been removed from the stove. Pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, and grape tomatoes should all be tossed together in this dish. Strawberries should be placed on top before serving. Serve!