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Dirndl kitchen pesto pasta salad2
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5 from 1 vote

Ute's Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

Summertime in Germany: Schwenkgrills filled with bratwurst, marinated meats and veggies. And as if that wasn't wonderful enough, here come the sides: fresh bread and salads galore including this mediterranean-inspired pesto pasta salad that is like the one my Mama Ute makes.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: German
Keyword: BBQ side dish recipe, Family Pasta Salad Recipe, German family recipes, German family side dish recipe, Grilling side dish recipe, Light summer pasta recipes, Light summer side dishes, Pesto Pasta recipe, Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe, Refreshing Pasta Salad Recipe
Servings: 8 servings (as side)
Calories: 217kcal


For Salad

  • 500 g pasta I used Nuraxi's ancient grain Sardinian pasta
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 or 3 zucchini or yellow squash I used 2 zucchini and 1 yellow squash
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic minced
  • 2 Tbsp roasted pine nuts I dry roast mine in a skillet for a few minutes
  • 2 large tomatoes medium diced
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese shredded
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp Calabrian Chili Paste optional

For Pesto

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil I used Nuraxi's highest quality Sardinian olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup roasted pine nuts I dry roast mine in a skillet for a few minutes
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese shredded
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 handful basil leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente (follow instructions on package). Drain and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat the oil on medium high, then add the zucchini and cook for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute or until fragrant and starting to brown. Add calabrian chili paste if desired. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • For the pesto, combine all pesto ingredients in a food processor (I actually use a cup and an immersion blender), and blend until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Combine pasta, pesto, sautéed veggies, pine nuts and diced fresh tomatoes in a large serving bowl, then top with grated parm and some fresh basil leaves. Guten Appetit!


Calories: 217kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 478mg | Potassium: 638mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 848IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 144mg | Iron: 2mg