Recipe: Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad

Basil is known as the “King of Herbs.” But garlic, the so-called “Stinking Rose,” is a lowly clove. Who’d ever think the two would get along so well? My Cuisinart, that’s who. This Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad is a family favorite, the perfect combination of basil, garlic and pine nuts.


1 lb fusilli pasta
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp olive oil

Basil Pesto

2 cups fresh basil leaves, firmly packed
1 large garlic clove
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice


1) For the pasta, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and pasta, cooking until pasta is tender. Drain well and toss with olive oil. Cool to room temperature while preparing the pesto.

2) For the pesto, wash the basil, discard the stems and dry thoroughly. Set aside.

3) Place the garlic, pine nuts, salt and pepper in a food processor. Process 10 seconds to chop garlic. Add basil leaves and pulse 4-5 times to shred basil. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the machine running, slowly pour in the olive oil in a steady stream until the mixture is smooth, about 20 seconds. Add the Parmesan, mayonnaise and lemon juice, processing just until incorporated.

4) Transfer pesto to a large serving bowl and toss with cooled pasta. Serve with additional Parmesan if desired.

Serves 8