TORTELLINI CAPRESE PESTO SALAD

Ingredients

2, 9 ounce packages fresh cheese tortellini, cooked to package directions

1, 16 ounce package mozzarella pearls

3 pints grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 ½ cups pesto (recipe below or store bought)

¼ cup olive oil

½ cup fresh basil leaves

Instructions

Combine all of the ingredients, except the basil leaves, in a large bowl and toss well until everything is evenly coated with the pesto.  Garnish with the basil leaves.

Homemade Pesto:

6 cups basil leaves, packed

8 garlic cloves, peeled and rough chopped

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 ¼ cups pistachios, shelled

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½-1 ¾ cups extra virgin olive oil

Place all of the ingredients, except the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse several times to combine ingredients and chop basil.

Put the processor on low speed and slowly drizzle the olive oil in the top of the lid until a creamy paste forms.

Makes about 3 cups of delicious pesto.  Use in marinades, salad dressing, pasta sauce, sandwich spread, soups, as a condiment or sauce on chicken, fish, steak, etc…  The options are endless!

Keeps for 3 weeks in the fridge in an airtight container or also freezes beautifully.  Freeze in ice cube trays and place cubes in ziplock bags so you can easily pull out as much as you need for each meal.

 

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