Pasta, pesto sauce, frozen peas and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. That's it! The result is a zesty, aromatic pasta salad that is the perfect complement to burgers, grilled chicken, ribs, steaks or simply a potluck side dish. I recommend using fresh pesto in this recipe, but in a pinch, store-bought works too. The ingredients are simple, but this pasta salad is a winner with just the "P" ingredients: pasta, pesto, parmesan and peas - a great combination and so easy to prepare.
I adjust the amount of peas I use in this recipe from time-to-time. Sometimes I use one cup, sometimes two cups. It depends on how many frozen peas I have in the bag in the freezer, and I highly recommend using frozen, not canned peas.
The inspiration for Four P Salad
There's a grocery store in Boise, Idaho called the Co-op, it's a community-owned natural foods store (not affiliated with this blog or sponsored) and they sell delicious deli salads. Recently, I enjoyed one of their salads similar to this and I thought, wow! While I don't have their recipe, that yummy salad certainly inspired me to come up with this one. I think it comes pretty close - my kids even think this version is even better. Let me know what you think!
Four P Salad
- 1 cup mini penne pasta
- 1 cup rotini pasta
- 1 cup elbow pasta
- salt to taste
- 2 cups peas frozen
- 1 cup pesto store-bought or better yet, make your own fresh pesto - it's easy!
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese fresh grated for garnish
- Place all three pasta types in boiling water, add salt and cook for 10 - 11 minutes or until pasta is slightly past the al dente stage, you'll want the pasta to be soft. Drain and rinse with cold water, just enough to take the steam off the hot pasta, but it can still be warm. Place pasta in a large bowl and add frozen peas. Stir gently to help defrost the peas. Add 1 cup pesto and stir to combine. Refrigerate until chilled. Serve right away, or cover and let the flavors mingle until the next day. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Delicious.
Please note, the nutrition details are estimated using a food database and are offered here only as a guideline for informational purposes.