White Bean and Tomato Pesto Pasta Salad

April 10, 2011 § 3 Comments

I had every intention of cooking dinner for my guests this weekend, but my time in the kitchen didn’t go far beyond scrambled eggs and toast on Saturday morning.  We ended up eating out both nights, so the ingredients I purchased for the meal I intended to make weren’t put to use until this evening.

I am a religious lunch packer.  I eat out for lunch maybe 3 times per month?  It varies, but most weeknights I’m filling tupperware for the next day (a thrilling life I lead).  It helps that I have a stellar group of gal pals at work who all bring their lunch too, and we often eat as a group. We just moved into a new office last week and our kitchen is pretty swank. It’s no restaurant, but it’s still somewhat of an escape.  We even have a TV!  Though they can’t locate the remote, so lunch time viewings of the Food Network are on hold for now.

So this week I’ll be packing the meal I was supposed to make for my guests. I spotted some gorgeous basil at the grocery store recently and grabbed it to make pesto.  I added in white beans and tomatoes to make for a heartier meal. This salad can be served at room temp or slightly chilled, which makes it great for meals on the go or a casual dinner for company.

White Bean and Tomato Pesto Pasta Salad

Serves 4

1 lb small pasta (small shells, fusili, farfelle, or gemelli)

3 medium tomatoes diced

1 can Cannellini beans drained and rinsed

1/2 grated parm

s+p

Pesto Recipe– Ina’s recipe is my go to for proportions.  I find 3 cups of basil per pound of pasta works well.  Her recipe calls for 5, but I simply do roughly 2/3 of the remaining ingredients. I used all Walnuts instead of adding in pine nuts, as that’s what I had on had, but you could use all pine nuts, or even Cashews- all those types work well in pesto.

Cook pasta according to box instructions, just until al dente.  Drain, toss with a little olive oil and salt, and set aside in a large bowl.  While the pasta cools, make the pesto.  Once pasta has cooled slightly, toss with pesto.  Then toss in tomatoes, beans, and additional parm.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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