It’s nothing new, but I’m on a bit of a pesto kick again. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen the pesto fries I had the other night, followed by a pizza that was topped with pesto, goat cheese and caramelized onions. I also made spinach basil pesto at home (recipe to come), and treated myself to a big heaping bowl of pesto penne. But, there’s just one of me, and I ended up having quite a bit of pesto sauce left to be used.
Rather than using it for just plain old pasta, I thought I would do something different with it. Channeling warmer weather, changing seasons and sunshine, I thought a salad was in order. So I made smoked turkey pesto pasta salad. It was inspired by a pasta salad that was on the menu of a restaurant where I used to work – one of my favorites to have on my lunch break. The addition of the smoked turkey is, in my opinion, so unique, and the salad itself requires very little chopping. I even tossed in a few handfuls of arugula for some extra green.
If you’re making this ahead of time, leave the arugula out and stir it in just before serving to keep it from wilting.
Smoked Turkey Pesto Pasta Salad
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
12 ounces farfalle pasta
1 cup pesto sauce
3/4 cup light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 inch thick slice smoked turkey deli meat, roughly chopped (about 1/2 pound)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
2 cups arugula
- Cook pasta according to package instructions for al dente in salted water. After straining, rinse with cold water until pasta is completely cooled.
- In a large bowl, whisk together pesto sauce, mayonnaise and lemon juice.
- Add pasta, smoked turkey, cranberries, red onion, pine nuts, parmesan and arugula. Stir until evenly coated with dressing.
- Refrigerate until serving.