Four P Salad
Updated: May 30
Pasta, pesto sauce, frozen peas and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. That's it! The result is a zesty, aromatic pasta salad that is the perfect complement to burgers, grilled chicken, ribs, steaks or simply a potluck side dish. I recommend using fresh pesto in this recipe, but in a pinch, store-bought works too. The ingredients are simple, but this pasta salad is a winner with just the "P" ingredients: pasta, pesto, parmesan and peas - a great combination and so easy to prepare.
Four P Salad
By Melinda O'Malley Keckler, CrinkledCookbook.com
1 cup mini penne pasta
1 cup rotini pasta
1 cup elbow pasta
salt to taste
2 cups frozen peas
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese, for garnish
Serves: 4-6 as a side dish
Place all three pasta types in boiling water, add salt and cook for 10 - 11 minutes or until pasta is slightly past the al dente stage, you'll want the pasta to be soft. Drain and rinse with cold water, just enough to take the steam off the hot pasta, but it can still be warm. Place pasta in a large bowl and add frozen peas. Stir gently to help defrost the peas. Add 1 cup pesto and stir to combine. Refrigerate until chilled. Serve right away, or cover and let the flavors mingle until the next day. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Delicious.
Sweet peas make such a great addition to salads. Here's another recipe I think you'll enjoy, sweet and savory Creamy Pea Salad oh, and did I mention... there's bacon in there too!
I adjust the amount of peas I use in this recipe from time-to-time. Sometimes I use one cup, sometimes two cups. It depends on how many frozen peas I have in the bag in the freezer, and I highly recommend using frozen, not canned peas. Use any shape of pasta you like for this recipe, but try to use at least two different shapes, it gives the salad great eye-appeal. There's a grocery store in Boise, Idaho called the Co-op, it's a community-owned natural foods store (not affiliated with this blog or sponsored) and they sell delicious deli salads. Recently, I enjoyed one of their salads similar to this and I thought, wow! While I don't have their recipe, that yummy salad certainly inspired me to come up with this one. I think it comes pretty close - my kids even think this version is even better. Let me know what you think!