4 Herb Pasta Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Pine Nuts
2 cups spinach
1/2 cup mint leaves
1/2 cup basil leaves
1/2 cup coarsely chopped chives
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, divided
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 pound rigatoni or other tubular pasta
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
chive blossoms for garnish (optional)
Combine spinach, mint, basil, chives, half of the pine nuts, lemon juice, garlic, and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream. Turn machine off, scrape down the sides and pulse again until sauce is smooth. Add more salt or lemon juice as needed then either set aside until pasta is cooked or transfer to a tightly-sealed container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Bring a large pot of heavily-salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and return to cooking pot. Add about 3/4 of the herb sauce and toss, adding more if pasta seems dry. This pasta can be served hot, room temperature, or cold, but I think it is best at room temperature. After you’ve mixed the pasta with the sauce, spoon it out onto a large platter and cover loosely with plastic wrap (you can let it sit out for an hour or so). When ready to serve toss in the tomatoes, drizzle with a little more olive oil, and sprinkle with the remaining pine nuts and chive blossoms.
If you’d rather have it hot, just toss the tomatoes in immediately and drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle the pine nuts and blossoms onto each serving.
If you’d like it cold, just stick it in the fridge, covered, after you’ve added the sauce. Then once it is chilled, toss in the tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle the nuts and blossoms on top.