The dressing for this roasted tomato pesto pasta salad recipe uses the leftover tomato juices from the baking dish along with roasted garlic, basil pesto and balsamic vinegar.
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved
- 6 garlic cloves in their skins
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper plus more for seasoning
- 8 ounces cavatappi pasta
- 2 tablespoons pesto
- 1/4 cup torn basil
- 2 tablespoons minced chives
- 6 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn into small pieces
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Spread the pine nuts on a sheet pan. Toast in the oven until they turn golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.
- In a rectangular baking dish, combine the tomatoes and garlic. Stir in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Roast for 40-45 minutes until the tomatoes have deepened in color and have slightly wrinkled.
- While the tomatoes and garlic are roasting, cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente according to package instructions. Drain the pasta and rinse in cold water in a colander. Put the pasta in a large bowl.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the roasted tomatoes to the bowl with the pasta.
- In small bowl, squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins and mash the garlic into the pesto. Stir in the olive oil and the tomato juices from the roasting pan.
- Pour the dressing over the pasta and stir in the basil, chives, mozzarella and pine nuts.
- Season to taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
Keywords: pesto pasta salad, roasted tomato pasta
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