Olive Pesto Pasta Salad
from the Radical Recipes 4 Boys cookbook
This pasta has most of my favorite things in it: garlic, basil, olives, and salami! Add bubble gum and I'd be set...just kidding.
Stuff You Need
For the pesto:
2 ounces of fresh basil (about 1 1/2 cups loosely packed)
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp pine nuts
1/3 cup olive oil (I like to use garlic olive oil)
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives (Greek black olives)
1/2 cup pitted green olives
1 tbsp lemon juice
For the pasta salad:
1 17-ounce bag/13-oz box of bite-sized pasta (rotini, penne, shell)
1 chopped yellow or red bell pepper
1 cup sliced salami
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt, pepper to taste
Equipment You Need
Large serving bowl
Pot stirring spoon
Colander (big word for the thing you drain the pasta in)
What You Do
1. Add 4 quarts of salted water to a boil on the stove.
2. When water boils, add pasta and cook about 11-13 minutes until "al dente" which means "to the tooth". (No idea how the Italians came up with that, but it means that the pasta is a teeny bit chewy in the middle, not mushy.)
3. Drain the pasta in the colander and add to the large serving bowl. Toss in a tiny bit of olive oil to keep it from sticking together in one big blob as it cools.
4. While pasta is cooling, make the pesto by putting the basil, garlic, pine nuts, and olives in the food processor. Chop for about 30 seconds until things are roughly chopped. Slowly add the olive oil and lemon juice and blend until smooth. Add a bit more olive oil if it is too dry.
5. Chop up the bell pepper into bite-sized pieces and slice the salami into strips.
6. Mix together the pasta and pesto. You can experiment with how much pesto you like...all of it or just some of it. Add the bell peppers, salami strips, and Parmesan cheese and give it a toss. Add salt/pepper to taste.
Serves 4-6-8 depending on how hungry everyone is.