It’s Christmas time here in Australia, which means summer, and summer means salads. I had a special request recently for an easy salad to serve on Christmas day (from my hairdresser – she is hosting Christmas this year for her family) so I just found myself sitting there rattling off a bunch of stuff with flavours I like to eat together, and ta-daaaah…….
Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad was born while I was sitting in the chair at the hairdresser. 💇🏼 🙂
They are quite traditional flavours that are a match made in heaven, and you can put the salad together in not much more time than it takes to cook the pasta.
One thing I will say – if you make your own basil pesto – you can find the recipe here – rather than use store bought, you won’t regret it! Homemade pesto is a thing of beauty – fresh, vibrant and just sings with flavour from so few ingredients. Any leftover pesto I store in an airtight container in the fridge with a layer of oil floating on top to help it stay fresh.
The timing for this recipe is for store bought pesto – but if you want to make your own basil pesto it seriously only takes 10 minutes in a food processor. Big bang for your buck in the time vs flavour stakes.
Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad
A salad with the traditional caprese tastes, but with an extra flavour hit from basil pesto & prosciutto.
- 500 g / 1.1 lbs dried pasta I used penne
- 250 g / 9 oz cherry/mini tomatoes
- 200 g / 7 oz cherry bocconcini
- 1/4 cup basil pesto
- 3 tbsp pine nuts
- 6 thin slices prosciutto
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Cook pasta according to manufacturers instructions, in generously salted water
When pasta is cooked, drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking process
In a large bowl, place drained pasta and olive oil, mixing to combine well
While pasta is cooking, fry pine nuts in a small pan over low heat for 2-3 mins to toast lightly
Cut cherry tomatoes in half lengthways, and roughly tear each cherry bocconcini in thirds
Grill/broil prosciutto slices until crisp, drain on paper/kitchen towel then tear/chop roughly into bite-sized pieces
Add tomatoes, bocconcini, prosciutto, basil pesto, basil leaves, & pine nuts to pasta & stir well to combine
This is an easy salad to make ahead - just keep all your components separate in the fridge in airtight containers in until you want to serve it, and let the pasta come to room temperature before then combining everything to serve.