This will be one of the tastiest pasta salads you've tried! It's packed with mini pasta, fresh mozzarella pears, fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, fresh avocados and a tasty balsamic glaze. In other words lots of fresh exciting flavors here!
Ready in: 25minutes
10oz.(2 3/4 cups) mini penne pasta shells
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1pintcherry or grape tomatoes,halved
2small avocados,diced (they should be fairly firm but ripe)
8oz.fresh mozzarella pearls
1/4cupchopped fresh basil leaves
1 1/2Tbspbalsamic vinegar, then more for serving to taste(use white balsamic vinegar for better coloring if desired)
1cup(18g) slightly packed fresh basil leaves
2Tbspfinely shredded parmesan,plus more for serving if desired
1Tbsppine nuts or chopped walnuts
Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to directions on package. Drain and let cool completely.
In a food processor pulse 1 cup basil leaves, parmesan, pine nuts, and garlic until minced. Pour in olive oil and process until everything is finely minced. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add pasta and tomatoes to a salad bowl. Pour basil (pesto) mixture over pasta and tomatoes and toss to evenly coat.
Add in avocados, mozzarella, basil (set some aside to garnish over top if desired), and pour in balsamic vinegar and toss just lightly.
Serve immediately with more balsamic vinegar and parmesan if desired.
If you can't find mozzarella pearls, you can cut up a large ball of fresh mozzarella.
Fresh basil is a must in this recipe, dried cannot be substituted.