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This Mother's Day, take Mom on a picnic

Gretchen McKay, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Entertaining

For pesto

2 large handfuls of fresh basil

Pinch coarse sea salt

1 garlic clove, peeled

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

3 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted

 

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta in salted water until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain, toss with a splash of olive oil and set aside.

While pasta is cooking, make the pesto. In a food processor, combine basil, salt and garlic. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and blend at low speed until mixture forms a coarse paste. Toss in the pine nuts and pour in another tablespoon of olive oil. Blend until the nuts are finely ground. Stir in the Parmesan and enough of the remaining olive oil to form a creamy paste. Taste and adjust seasoning.

In a large bowl, toss cooked pasta with pesto until coated. Gently mix in broccoli, pepper, spinach, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls and olives, if using. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve either chilled or at room temperature.

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