Summer Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta Salad
Three Farm Daughters
When it's too hot for a heavy meal but you need an energy boost, this lively pasta salad packs a refreshing Mediterranean twist sure to spark up any weary sunseeker.
Sun-blushed tomatoes get a surprising spin in a zesty red pesto dressing the whole family will love - all topped off with fragrant basil & buttery pine nuts that keep your fork coming back for more.
2 boxes Three Farm Daughters Rotini
28 oz can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 ½ cups Cherry Tomatoes, halved
1 ½ cups sliced Semi-Dried or Sun Dried Tomatoes, best quality
4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
½ tsp Brown Sugar
¾ cup Parmesan, shredded (vegans sub 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast)
2 tbsp Pine Nuts, toasted
¼ cup Kalamata Olives, pitted and sliced (optional)
2 tbsp fresh Basil Leaves, torn
1 tbsp Balsamic Glaze, highest quality
Cook rotini according to package directions, adding the chickpeas into the pasta pot for the final 2 minutes of cooking time. Once pasta and chickpeas are tender, drain and rinse under cool water.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked rotini and chickpeas with the sliced cherry tomatoes & 1/2 cup of the sliced semi-dried tomatoes. Stir, cover and allow to chill in the fridge while you make the pesto dressing.
Make the dressing: In a blender, whiz the remaining 1 cup of semi-dried tomatoes with 1/2 cup parmesan, the olive oil, red wine vinegar, and brown sugar. Add a pinch of salt & pepper, and blend until combined. Check the seasoning, adding more sugar, salt or vinegar to taste. Pour over pasta, mix well & refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Once pasta salad is well chilled, gently stir in the remaining 1/4 cup shredded parmesan (sub 1 tbsp nutritional yeast for vegan option), toasted pine nuts, torn basil leaves & kalamata olives, if using.
Season to taste, drizzle with 1 tbsp Balsamic Glaze & serve. (For best results, allow flavors to mingle and improve overnight in the fridge - if you can resist that long!)