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Orzo Herb Pesto Pasta Salad

This light but filling pasta salad comes together quickly. I like to use orzo because it holds the marinade well, but other pasta can be substituted. If fresh basil is unavailable, cilantro or even spinach can be used in the pesto dressing.

Serves: 6 to 8
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Serves 6 to 8

What you need:

  • 6 ounces dried orzo pasta
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup Zesty Garlic & Herb Marinade (see VegNews recipe)
  • 1/2 cup artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup zucchini, diced
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted & chopped

What you do:

  1. In a large pot, cook the orzo pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain well again. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. In a food processor, pulverize the basil, parsley, and marinade for 1-2 minutes or until a smooth paste forms. Add mixture to the pasta and toss well to coat.
  3. Add all of the remaining ingredients and toss well to combine. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend. Toss gently before serving.