Pesto Pasta Salad is a delicious, easy to make side dish with tender pasta, vegetables, and cheese. This recipe can also be served as a meatless main dish.
Today is my first day of school. Even though I don’t get kids until Monday, that’s pretty much it for my summer, I’m done. Starting school always floods my memory with my childhood years, and starting school.
I grew up in the 60’s, and I, never…no, not even once, ever…in seven years, rain or shine, wore a pair of pants or trousers to school.
For whatever reasons, my parents didn’t think girls should wear pants to school. Those of us labeled, “Tom-Boys”, because there was no other word for a girl who didn’t want to play with dolls or jump rope, were subjected to skirts or dresses, despite our protestations. I wore shorts under my dresses so I could hang, upside-down, on the monkey bars, without the boys giggling.
My not-in-school-wardrobe, consisted of shorts and “tennies”, or going barefoot. But there I was, shopping for that Back-To-School wardrobe with my mom. I would get six or eight new dresses, and that was it for the year. We were certainly not poor, but I was a skinny girl and I didn’t grow much, and back then we didn’t need much anyway.
Along with the wardrobe, came a pair of new shoes. Saddle shoes! Horrible, stiff, black and white, fuzzy, saddle shoes. Those shoes would not let me run like the wind, or play wild. But nothing I could do or say would sway my mom from buying those practical shoes. So, every morning, my clever, 7 year old self left the house wearing those saddle shoes, walked half a block, and, on the busiest street in town, buried those saddle shoes in the bushes and changed into a pair of cheap Keds.
In those thin bottomed soles, I could run wild, chase the boys, escape their chase, play tag, climb, play football, and at the end of the school day, could change back in to those saddle shoes on my way back home. No one would be the wiser…except my mom, who declared, that those shoes lasted so long, she was going to buy them for me again the following year! So much for 7 year old wisdom.
Packing lunches every year becomes a challenge. My kids are really not picky, but every year their tastes change. For years, all Spencer (lunch duty guy) had to pack were peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Then it was bean and cheese burritos. One thing is for sure…both kids will always eat pasta.
I…or they, can make this very simple pesto pasta salad in just a few minutes’ time.
I use whole wheat pasta, and add a bit of shredded zucchini, (which no one can usually detect), when it’s covered in the pesto.
- 1/2 pound pasta regular, whole wheat or gluten free, cooked, and drained.
- 2/3 cup pesto sauce either homemade or store-bought.
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup shredded zucchini (about one small zucchini)
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese cubed
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta.
- Toss with pesto, shredded zucchini, tomatoes and cubed mozzarella. Toss gently.
- Check for seasoning. Top with additional toasted pine nuts.
More delicious recipes with pesto: