One of my favorite pasta salads to make and eat is a cold pesto penne pasta filled with sweet peas and artichoke hearts in a creamy pesto dressing. Each time I prepare this salad it brings me back to when I was in 7th grade and my friends and I would go to Seattle’s famous Paglicacci’s pizza on University Avenue. I would order a slice of cheese pizza, a small pesto salad, and a diet coke. For over 20 years I have loved Paglicacci’s pesto pasta salad and relish it when we make it at home. This salad is incredibly easy and simple to make. The basil pesto dressing magically transforms this pasta salad into the perfect side dish or a meal of its own. Either way I think you’ll agree this pesto pasta salad is perfect in it’s simple glory. Enjoy!
Pesto Salad Pasta Recipe
16 oz box (1 lb) of penne pasta
1 cup of homemade pesto or store bought.
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1 cup of frozen sweet peas
16 oz can artichoke hearts, quartered
*Optional: 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
In a small bowl mix pesto sauce and mayonnaise together and set aside.
Prepare penne pasta according to package instructions to al dente. Drain pasta well and toss in a large bowl. Add frozen peas to pasta and toss with pesto dressing until everything is well mixed and coated.
Gently fold in artichoke hearts and allow the salad to cool in the refrigerator for 20 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese prior to serving. Enjoy!