Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

Summer Pasta Salad with Pesto Vinaigrette

Servings: eight to 10 as a side dish or four as a main dish.

This fresh-tasting pasta salad is a summer twist on the traditional Ligurian dish of pasta with pesto and green beans. Cherry tomatoes add a burst of bright color and sweetness.


For the Vinaigrette

  • 1-1/2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh, finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 3 Tbs. red- or white-wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the Salad

  • kosher salt
  • 3/4 lb. green beans or wax beans (or a mix), trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1/2 lb. dried campanelle, cavatappi, or other short, chunky pasta shape
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 Tbs. pine nuts, toasted
  • Freshly ground pepper


Make the vinaigrette:

  • Put the basil, olive oil, Parmigiano, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, and lemon zest in a blender. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste

Make the salad:

  • Put 4 to 6 quarts of salted water in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Drop the green beans and/or wax beans into the boiling water and cook until the beans are just crisp-tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the beans from the water with a slotted spoon, and transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain and cool. Drop the peas in the water and cook until just tender, about 2 to 3 minutes for fresh peas (frozen peas only need a minute or so to thaw them). Remove the peas from the water with a slotted spoon and transfer to the paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Gently blot the peas and beans dry.
  • Return the water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook just until al dente, following package instructions. Drain the pasta thoroughly by shaking it in a colander and immediately pouring it out onto a rimmed baking sheet. Toss the pasta with the olive oil to prevent sticking.
  • Transfer the cooled pasta to a large serving bowl. Add the beans, peas, and cherry tomatoes and toss. Add just enough vinaigrette to moisten the pasta, taking care not to overdress it (you may not need it all). Add the pine nuts and toss again. Let the salad rest for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and then taste the salad again. If necessary, add a little viniagrette and salt and pepper. Serve as soon as possible.


Rate or Review

Reviews (8 reviews)

  • mparsons1 | 01/29/2021

    This is always a hit. People squabble over who takes home the leftovers.

  • Sweetpete | 07/26/2019

    Excellent recipe big hit and easy to make. The pesto is amazing

Show More

Rate this Recipe

Write a Review


View All


Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, subscribe today.

Get the print magazine, 25 years of back issues online, over 7,000 recipes, and more.