Since I seemed to be lacking the ingredients for the Curried Cous Cous chosen by Ellyn of Recipe Collector and Tester, I decided to utilize the "Barefoot Backtracking" option and go for a recipe that I wasn't able to particapte in since I just joined in March! I scanned the past recipes page and I heard the "DING!" go off in my head when I saw the Pesto and Peas Pasta salad.
Being that I live in Florida, I enjoy going to the beach on my days off. I normally go with a group of friends, and we take turns making lunch. I made this recipe so that it can withstand being in a cooler all day at the beach or outside at a summer picnic. Since I was making this for an entree, I roasted some chicken in the oven Ina style, with rib-in chicken breasts. It really does give the chicken great flavor and keeps the moisture in!
Making this dish was very simple, and easy enough for kids to assist with! You can make it with the pasta of your choice. I went for the swirly noodles because they are so whimisical and fun to look at. Cook and drain the pasta and toss in a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Set aside until cool.
I had some frozen peas stashed in the freezer, so I took them and boiled them in salted water for 2 minutes, and drained and shocked in an ice bath to retain the vivid green color. Put your cooled pasta and peas into a mixing bowl and add 5-6 tablespoons of prepared pesto (I find it in a jar in the refridgerated pasta section!), and about 1/2 cup of grated parmesean, and 2 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts. Toss until combined, add more pesto as needed! This would also be the time to add the chopped chicken breasts. Serve and enjoy!