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Summer Pasta Salad with Mint and Parsley Pesto

Summer Pasta Salad with Mint and Parsley Pesto

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The temperature is rising and it was 93 degrees today. I wanted to cook something easy and yet tasty and refreshing. I thought that a cold pasta salad would be perfect and I made it with whatever I had in the refrigerator. I had some leftover boiled chicken breasts and Mint and parsley pesto.

I used some Greek pasta named plexoudes which translate into plaits. They are very versatile because they hold the sauce while retaining an al dente texture. They are popular in entrées, side dishes, baked dishes and pasta salads; and pair well with light to moderately-thick tomato sauces and cream sauces.

Similar pasta are the gemelli, meaning “twins,” which are simply two short strands of round pasta that are twisted together.

Ingredients for 5

  • 500 grams of PASTA plexoudes (gemelli)
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 boiled chicken breast, cut into bite pieces
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cucumber, cut into slices
  • 5 – 6 gherkins, finely chopped
  • A few tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons of mint and parsley pesto (recipe follows)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Greek low fat yoghurt

Bring water to boiling point and add some salt and a teaspoon of olive oil and boil pasta according to package instructions. ( I boiled them for fifteen minutes). Drain them and add cold water. Drain them again and place them in a big bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, toss and place in the refrigerator before serving.

I am submitting this pasta salad to Ruth, of Once Upon a Feast, who has created and is hosting this week’s Presto Pasta Nights event.

As I don’t post every day, here is the pesto recipe as well:

Mint and Parsley Pesto


  • 1 cup of parsley
  • 1 cup of mint
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts
  • 1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


In a food processor, combine the parsley, mint, garlic and walnuts and pulse until coarsely chopped. Pour in the olive oil and add the cheese. Process to a puree, adding the lemon juice and some extra olive oil, if needed. Season the pesto generously with salt and pepper.

Any leftover pesto can be stored in the deep freezer for a long period of time.

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Tuesday 24th of June 2008

Just wanted to say I love your new header design, with the chairs and the sea -- lovely!

Bellini Valli

Friday 20th of June 2008

I love pasta salads sis. I usually have all of the ingredients necessary on hand so this makes them perfect for last minute dining. I am loving the mint pesto as well....perfect for those 40C days:D

Susan from Food Blogga

Friday 20th of June 2008

Oh, I can practically taste the tang of the gherkins and yogurt. This sounds perfectly refreshing on a hot summer's night. Stay cool!


Friday 20th of June 2008

Sounds and looks lovely. :-)

Ruth Daniels

Thursday 19th of June 2008

Lovely dish and assures me that summer is indeed on its way. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Night.

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