Pasta Salad Recipe – An Ideal BBQ Side

Our pasta salad recipe perfectly complements BBQ food and is straightforward to make. 

Making the pesto from scratch is a real game changer and far tastier than buying it in a jar. 

We’ve substituted the usual pine nuts in pesto for hazelnuts for something a little more special. 

You can use the more traditional pine nuts if you wish. Walnuts are a great option too. 

This will serve 4-6 People.

Make sure you cook your pasta well in advance so it has time to cool before being added to the salad.

Pasta Salad Recipe Part 1 – Make the Pesto

For the Pesto

  • 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • 1 clove of fresh garlic
  • 50 g hazelnuts
  • 1 large bunch of fresh basil around 45g
  • 50 g Parmesan finely grated
  • Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • A squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Place the garlic, basil, grated parmesan and Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the blender. Blend until you have a smooth paste. 

Toast the hazelnuts in a dry pan on a medium heat to release all the great flavours in the nuts. Make sure you not to burn them.

You want them nice and brown and toasted.

Add the nuts to the blender and blend them into the pesto. 

Add a splash of fresh lemon juice to loosen up the paste, and season the pesto with salt and pepper to your liking. 

Pasta Salad Recipe Part 2 – Assemble Your Salad

For the Pasta Salad

400g Farfalle Pasta (Or Pasta of Your Choice) – Cooked and Allowed to Cool

3 Tablespoons of Homemade Pesto

100g Chopped Cherry Tomatoes (the sweeter the better!)

1 Bag of Mixed Salad Leaves e.g. Rocket, Spinach and Watercress

2 Mozzarella Balls Chopped into Slices

A Handful of Chopped Basil Leaves 

A Handful of Chopped Hazelnuts for Crunch

Chop your tomatoes, mozzarella, basil leaves and hazelnuts and add to a salad bowl along with the cold fusilli.

Add your mixed leaves to the bowl, and the hazelnut pesto.

Toss the bowl to get all the flavours into the pasta and salad leaves.

Pasta Salad Recipe Part 3 – Make Your Salad Dressing

For the Dressing

3 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon of Fresh Lemon Juice

Sea Salt & Black Pepper to Taste

This simple but tasty dressing will perfectly complement the pesto and not overpower it. 

Add the oil and lemon juice together and then season to your taste. Try the dressing and adjust with seasoning or lemon juice if it is not acidic enough. 

Pour your lemon dressing over the top of the pasta salad and mix well.

Pasta Salad Recipe Part 4 – Serve Your Pasta Salad

Now you can serve your lovely fresh pasta salad to your guests!

Great work. Now grab a beer and soak up some praise.

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