Need pesto pasta salad help -- quick!

<p>A friend gave me some pesto she made Friday. First, is it still good?</p>

<p>Second, what's an easy pasta salad recipe? I'm getting ready to run out the door to the grocery store.</p>


<p>yes- </p>

<p>I used to make either pasta shells
canned albacore- water pack tuna
red peppers
olives or artichoke hearts
some times tomatoes if in season
with favorite italian dressing- lightly tossed
italian hard salami
broccoli ( lightly steamed)
red/yellow peppers ( bell)
with rigatoni
& favorite italian dressing
Pasta salad is very forgivable
if you want to use the pesto- I suggest some fresh olive oil to lighten it- with the italian salami.</p>

<p>Thanks! Too late as I'm already back from the store, but I guess it's something of a kitchen-sink thing -- I can put in whatever I want!</p>

<p>The friends who gave me the pesto said to put a little of the pasta water into it, I guess like what you're saying with the olive oil?</p>

<p>Can you tell I'm a baker and not a cook???</p>

<p>I would add some grated Parmesan - or provide it for each person to add - to this type of pasta salad.</p>

<p>Not only is Pasta Salad pretty forgiving, but so is pesto. You can use a bit, freeze the rest in a container, take it out and scoop out a bit another time, re-freeze and so on.</p>

<p>I make my own and have done this for years. It's still good when re-used in this way.</p>

<p>Youdon'tsay-pasta water is good because not only will it thin out the pesto, but it will help the sauce adhere to the pasta more. :)</p>

<p>I'm a baker and a cook. ^^ and I watch a lot of food network.</p>

Not only is Pasta Salad pretty forgiving, but so is pesto. You can use a bit, freeze the rest in a container, take it out and scoop out a bit another time, re-freeze and so on.


<p>A favorite anecdote about my late grandmother:</p>

<p>My grandpa harvested a bumper crop of basil one year, and my grandmother decided to make it into at least three or four gallons of pesto. She was incredibly proud at how well it turned out, and often commented on how well pesto freezes. After several months of pesto pasta, we all became <em>severely</em> burned out on the stuff, but quietly ate it for several weeks beyond a human being's normal pesto threshold. In the middle of dinner one day, grandma proclaimed that she couldn't stand any more pesto, got up, dragged the multitude of remaining ziptop bags out of the freezer, and forced the frozen green blocks down the disposal.</p>

<p>The moral of the story is that pesto freezes quite well, but that a little goes a long way! ;)</p>

<p>I make a ton of pesto every summer and freeze it and use it all year long.
Rejuvinating and thinning it out with some of the hot pasta cooking water is a great trick.
I like it hot on rotelle style pasta with diced fresh tomatoes and good parmesan added in. Also, I make pizza with it as the sauce base instead of tomato sauce with tomatoes,onions even chicken on it.
I really have to learn to plant less basil.I forget every year b/c the plants are oh so tiny when they start out.</p>

<p>aibarr - that is hysterical.</p>

<p>Since my basil crop usually yields pesto by the quart, not the gallons.... we haven't had your family's problem.</p>

<p>But I am forewarned and will keep my basil crop within bounds forever after. :)</p>

<p>cathymee - we are big pesto pizza fans as well. We like it with fresh mushrooms and sweet Italian sausage.</p>

<p>I chickened out and put it in the freezer. LMAO</p>

<p>Too late for tonight's dinner, but still delicious:</p>

<p>1/2 lb. cherry tomatoes, halved
12 oz. penne pasta
1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 in. pieces (frozen ok)
1/2 cup reduced-fat mayo
3 Tbl pesto
3 Tbl. white vinegar
s & p to taste</p>

<p>Cook the pasta, adding green beans towards the end, so both are done at the same time. Drain & rinse w/ cold water. Place in large bowl w/ tomatoes. Combine mayo, pesto, vinegar, s&p; add to bowl & toss to combine. </p>

<p>The dressing is great on sandwiches, too. Add grilled chicken to the pasta salad and you can call it dinner!</p>

<p>What I wouldn't kill for some pesto/fresh basil! Anybody have some extra they can send me ? :D</p>

<p>A good tip I learned is to freeze pesto in those ice cube molds, freeze it, then store the popped pesto cubes in a ziploc til needed. As the daughter, I cook a lot more of the adventurous foods in my house haha.</p>

<p>That pasta salad sounds really tasty, but I love eating pesto with fresh seafood or grilled food. The bright flavor of it just seems to pop out when needed to cut the richness of some foods. I've done some weird (but awesome!) combos with it though, like mix thai green curry and coconut milk and stew it with chicken and rice, or try it with hummus. I think pesto is sufficiently flexible enough to be worth trying any basic..</p>

<p>I like pesto with either bowties or tortellini. I am a cook that doesn't measure, but I will saute some garlic ( don't let it brown ) and add some thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes or some grape tomatoes , halved and some pecorino - romano cheese. Easy and tasty</p>

<p>A very simple pasta salad with pesto: Sorry I don't have more specific directions. For this one I just wing it until it looks right.</p>

<p>Penne pasta (cook the pasta in advance and let it cool before mixing with other ingredients. It will melt the cheese enough to create blobs if it's too hot.)
cherry or grape tomatoes-1-2 cups
cubed fresh mozzarella 1-2 cups
splash or two of vinegar (I like white wine vinegar with this)
Bit of parm. cheese
Enough pesto to coat the pasta and other ingredients.<br>
pitted kalamata olives-1/2 cup or so</p>

<p>For a main dish salad I grill chicken breasts with olive oil, dried oregano or Italian seasoning and maybe some of the pesto. I let the chicken also cool before slicing it and adding to the salad. Since we eat a lot of chicken I sometimes grill extra and refrigerate it for a meal a few days later.</p>

<p>mmmm, rrah, that sounds delish!</p>