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New Pesto Pasta Salad

Serves 4

This pasta dish works well as a side for your next picnic, potluck or family dinner, or even as a meal on its own!


  • Salt
  • 1 pound regular or whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1/2 cup pistachios (about a handful) or any nut you really like, toasted
  • 1/2 cup basil, packed
  • 1/2 cup mint, packed
  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley, packed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 2 pints multi-colored cherry tomatoes


  1. Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring it up to a boil to cook the pasta. Once at a boil, add some salt and the pasta and cook until al dente, according to the package directions. Drain the pasta thoroughly and cool.
  2. While the pasta is working, add the toasted pistachios, basil, mint, parsley, garlic, salt and ground black pepper to a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Stream in 1/2 cup EVOO, pulse until combined, transfer into a large mixing bowl and stir in the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Reserve.
  3. To slice the tomatoes, place two container lids of the same size on the counter with the lip side up. Sit as many tomatoes that fit comfortably into the surface of one lid and place the other lid, lip side down, on top of the tomatoes. Press firmly, but not enough to bruise the tomatoes, then gently glide your knife in between the two lids to cut the tomatoes in half precisely and in no time! Add your sliced tomatoes to the pesto bowl along with the cooled pasta, toss together and serve.