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Caprese Orzo Pasta Salad

Yields1 Serving

For the salad:
 16 oz orzo pasta
 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
 3 tbsp basil pesto
 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
 12 oz mozzarella cheese, cut into small pieces
 3 tbsp olive oil
 salt and pepper to taste
 fresh basil for garnish
For the basil pesto:
 2 cups fresh basil leaves
 4 cloves garlic, minced
 ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
  cup olive oil, divided
 ½ cup Pecorino-Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
To make the salad:
1

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the orzo. Cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain.

2

Once pasta is cooked, set aside to allow the pasta to cool. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Garnish with basil leaves. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make the basil pesto:
3

In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, and 1/2 cup of the olive oil. Pulse until well chopped and blended. Add the cheese and pulse to combine. Pour into a small bowl and cover with the remaining olive oil.