Summer is perfect for serving pasta salads and this prawn, pesto and chargrilled capsicum pasta straight out says summer. This is a dish that goes together quickly and looks like you want to dive in. The taste is fresh, clean and vibrant on the palate.
We served this salad as a main course for friends followed by our italian lemon almond and white chocolate cake served with chilled Prosecco with a dash of aperol. A perfect hot weather, stressless menu and winning combination.
Great pasta salad to make ahead
We are always on the lookout for winning recipes that can be prepared ahead and take any last minute stress out of entertaining. Double, triple or quadruple the recipe for large crowds, flavour is not thrown out by multiplying the ingredients. This is truly a doddle of a recipe to put together and the flavours simply deliver big time! The colours look great and it tastes amazing.
Prep your pesto, chargrilled capsicums and prawns the day before, but cook your pasta on the day and donʼt refrigerate the pasta. If you do, the pasta sort of toughens up and doesnʼt have the soft bite that freshly cooked pasta has. Simply cook your pasta shortly before your guests arrive and leave in the colander. When youʼre ready to serve rinse and shake the pasta then add your pesto, prawns and chargrilled capsicums and toss so all ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Easy!
Swap out the prawns
You can easily swap out the prawns in this prawn, pesto and chargrilled capsicum pasta salad with other proteins. Think, thinly sliced smoked chicken, bocconcini, steamed salmon, hot and spicy salami, fresh sliced mushrooms, semi dried tomatoes, olives……..
What pasta to use?
We used casserecce (pronounced “cah-sah-rech-ee”) which is perfect as it holds the pesto. You could also use fusilli, cavatelli, trofie, strozzapreti or gemelli. What you are looking for is a pasta shape that will hold the pesto in nooks and crannies so each piece is coated with the pesto.
What’s your favourite pasta salad recipe?
Leave a comment below and let us know!Print
- 2 ounces (50 g) fresh basil leaves – 1 good sized bunch
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup roasted cashew nuts
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 ounces (50 g) grated parmesan
- pinch of salt
- fresh ground pepper
- 10 ounces (300 g) Caserecce or similar pasta – see intro on pasta for ideas
- 2 large red capsicums ( red bell peppers) chargrilled and cut into thin strips
- 20 large cooked fresh prawns, peeled and deveined
- fresh ground black pepper
- place all ingredients into a food processor or blender
- blend till cashews are still a little chunky
- add a drizzle more olive oil if required
- set aside till ready to use
- cook pasta to manufacturers instructions
- rinse under cold running water and drain
- slice capsicum into thin strips
- add pesto to cooked cold pasta
- toss prawns and capsicums through and mix thoroughly
- season with fresh ground black pepper
- mix until all ingredients are coated with pesto
- serve and enjoy!
- this pasta is so easy to put together and tastes wonderful
- see tips in above notes on preparing ahead for entertaining
- Category: pasta
- Method: bench top
- Cuisine: Australian