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Party pesto pasta salad with crabmeat

September 7, 2011

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Serves 8

One of Candy Gold’s stand-by September meals, this recipe can also go to a back-to-school gathering or a pot luck. The pesto recipe comes from “Barefoot Contessa Parties!’’

PESTO

2 tablespoons walnuts
2 tablespoons pine nuts
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste
3/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1. In a food processor, work the walnuts, pine nuts, and garlic for 30 seconds. Add the basil, salt, and pepper. With the motor running, slowly pour the olive oil through the feed tube and process until the pesto is pureed.

2. Add the Parmesan and work for 1 minute.

SALAD

Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound pasta (shells, elbows, or other small shapes)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup pesto
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup jumbo lump crab meat
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 lemon, cut into wedges (for garnish)

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes or until the pasta is tender but still has some bite. Drain and transfer to bowl. Add the olive oil and toss well; set aside to cool.

2. Add enough pesto to moisten the pasta. Stir in tomatoes, red onion, celery, and Parmesan.

3. In another bowl, combine crab meat, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Top the pasta with the crab mixture. Garnish with lemon. Adapted from Candy Gold