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If you think warmer months are going to stop me from eating bowls and bowls of pasta, you’re wrong. I go twice as hard in the summer because if there’s one thing I love more than a pool-side BBQ, it’s a heaping bowl of pasta salad! While I’m not above the mayo-drenched salads of my childhood, my new obsession is playing around with different sauces and shapes to create the ultimate room-temp/cold bowl of pasta.
This version takes all the herbs sprouting in your garden (or at your local farmer’s market) and blends it up with lemon and pistachios for a creamy, vegan sauce to toss with radiatore pasta. If you’re unfamiliar with this shape, it’s reminiscent of a good ol’ radiator, sporting plenting of ridges for catching that sauce. To take it to the next level, I roast cherry tomatoes with garlic and thyme to concentrate their natural sweetness and add a bit of umami to the finished salad. It’s honestly my new summer go-to whether it be a weeknight dinner or weekend entertaining.
Crack out your bathing suit and get ready to lounge by the pool with a bowl of this pasta salad for a true taste of summer lovin’.
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Yield: Serves or Makes 4-6
Preheat oven to 450°F. On a sheet pan, toss cherry tomatoes with ¼ cup olive oil, crushed red pepper, thyme sprigs, 1 smashed garlic clove, salt and pepper. Roast until lightly blistered and split open, 20 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs and set aside.
In a food processor, combine remaining ¼ cup olive oil and garlic clove with the basil, pistachios, tarragon, lemon juice and zest and process until a smooth paste forms. Season with salt and set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Stir in radiatore and cook until al dente, 8-10 minutes. Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta water, and rinse under cold water to cool.
In a large bowl, stir pesto with reserved pasta water to loosen, then add cooled pasta and roasted tomatoes with any juices. Toss until well incorporated, then adjust seasoning with salt and serve.