Is it me or is pasta salad making a killing during this blistering summer? The idea of a fresh, cool, and crunchy salad is hitting all the right notes. Although I have a delicious Pesto Pasta Salad (think of it as a Caprese salad, but with pasta!), adding kale to the pesto erupted the green goddess within.
Not only does kale give the pesto a green boost, but it also provides a robust taste that pairs well with peppers, sausage, cheese, and onions. The trick to not having an overdry pasta salad is to make EXTRA pesto. Yes, make a double batch of it! This one bowl wonder comes together easily, but keeping it in the fridge before serving could cause a bit of dryness, and believe me, you and your guests will want the extra pesto!
Right before serving, after refrigerating, add anywhere from ¼ to ½ cup of additional pesto to the salad, mix and serve along with some white, cold wine!
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Tortellini Kale Pesto Salad
- 1 bunch Kale
- 1 cup Basil
- ½ cup Pine nuts, lightly toasted
- ½ cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
- 1 Lemon, zest & juie
- ½ cup Olive Oil
- Fresh Cracked Pepper
- Kosher Salt
- 2 Packs Tortellini
- 1 Red Onion
- 1 cup Cheese of choice I personally like mozzarella and smoked cheddar, but add your favorites!
- 1 Salami, cubed
- 1 Red Pepper
- 1 Yellow Pepper
- ½ cup Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half
- In a food processor, add the kale (remove the tough stems), basil, lemon zest, lemon juice, toasted pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and a few rounds of cracked pepper. Pulse a few times until all are combined, and then while running, drizzle steadily ½ cup of olive oil. Don't forget to double the pesto recipe. Taste for salt and pepper!
- While cooking the tortellini in boiling water, start prepping the fixings. You basically want everything roughly the same size.
- Strain the tortellini after 7-8 minutes, and run cold water over it to halt the cooking process. Drizzle some olive oil to keep it from drying.
- In a large bowl, add the strained tortellini along with half of the pesto.
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve. Always add the remaining pesto right before serving.