Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad
Tis the season for this incredible Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad, a tasty mash up of a traditional Caprese salad with a creamy Pesto pasta salad. With tomatoes and basil at their prime, the fresh flavors combined with homemade pesto perfection make this pasta salad a super-easy and gourmet way to bring sunshine to the table.
Bite Me Bit
"Everybody likes pesto. You walk into a restaurant, that’s all you hear – pesto, pesto, pesto."
– George Costanza, Seinfeld
1 cup fresh basil, gently packed, stems removed
1 small garlic clove
1/2 cup ground almonds
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 lb rigatoni pasta
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup mini bocconcini cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Fresh basil, to garnish
1) For the pesto, place the basil, garlic, almonds, salt and pepper in a food processor. Process 10 seconds to chop. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the machine running, slowly pour in the olive oil in a steady stream until mixture is smooth, about 20 seconds. Add the Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise and white balsamic vinegar, processing just until incorporated.
2) For the pasta, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until tender, drain well and transfer to a large serving bowl. Let cool slightly.
3) Toss pesto with cooked pasta, tomatoes and bocconcini. Add salt and pepper to taste and garnish serving bowl with fresh basil.