Pesto Pastina Salad

You know by now how much I love pastina. And you probably also know that pastina is a bit hard to come by these days, but rest assured it’s still in production! My friends at Barilla are making it and you can find it online, if not in your local store. Of course, this recipe is just as perfect with any small pasta like orzo or acini di pepe.

My Pesto Pastina Salad has a sun drenched flavor that’s packed with bites of fresh herbs, fennel, olive oil, and sun dried tomatoes. The whole salad is then coated in delicious pesto, whether you make it homemade or buy it at the store (Barilla makes my fave!). 🌿 This is a recipe that I will be eating all Summer long.

Watch me make this recipe here.

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Pesto Pastina Salad

Pesto Pastina Salad

  • Author: Dan Pelosi

What You’ll Need

  • 1 1/2 cups of Basil Almond Pesto or store-bought pesto
  • 1 12oz box of pastina, or any small pasta like orzo or acini di pepe
  • 1 1/2 cups seeded and diced cucumber
  • 1 1/2 cups of diced fennel plus any chopped fronds
  • 1 1/2 cups minced fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 cups of minced fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 cups of chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • The juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

What You’ll Do

  1. Bring a pot of well-salted water to boil. When the water is boiling, add pastina and cook according to package instructions. This will ensure al dente pasta.
  2. Drain the pastina in a fine mesh strainer and pour into a large serving bowl. Stir pastina for 30 seconds to release some steam and help cool. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss into pastina. Now we can start adding our vegetables into the pastina. Place 1½ cups of cucumber, 1½ cups fennel, chopped fennel fronds, 1½ cups parsley, 1½ cups basil, 1½ cups of sun dried tomatoes, and 1½ cups of pesto into the bowl. Stir until well combined.
  3. To make the dressing, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the juice of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon of dried oregano into a small bowl (or the pesto jar, if using store bought) and mix until combined. Pour over top of the pastina and vegetables. Give your pastina pesto a thorough tossing. Taste and adjust flavoring, adding salt and pepper as needed.
  4. Eat warm or refrigerate until ready to serve! Enjoy!