Friday, July 15, 2011

Pasta Salad

One of my favorite summer meals is pasta salad. It's true that I love pasta and could eat it way more often than we actually do, but pasta salad is also a dish that can have a lot of veggie in it, and that's something that SP enjoys. This time we used gemelli pasta. Usually we use bow ties or corkscrews, but we had a box of gemelli that I bought for a bacon & goat cheese pasta dish we have yet to make. So we used the gemelli for pasta salad.
As for the other ingredients, well, here's the beauty of pasta salad: you can use whatever you want, as much or as little as you want. There's no recipe to follow. When I was a kid, mom made pasta salad with tomatoes, cucumber, and regular black olives. I make mine with a lot more stuff! This time, I used:

1 large, fat stalk celery, diced finely
2 carrots, shredded
2 roasted red peppers, chopped into bite size pieces
around 15 kalamatas, pitted and quartered
around 15 green olives, each sliced into 3 rounds
about 30 cherry tomatoes, quartered (not even an entire Costco package!)
half a green pepper, diced finely
1 English cucumber, peeled and chopped
7-8 marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
a bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
a large bunch of fresh basil, chiffonaded
some fresh chives, chopped
grated parmesanI used a dressing recipe from our battered paperback copy of Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook. It calls for 'salad oil.' I used 1/2 cup olive oil. The other ingredients were:

1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 T sugar
1 t Dijon
2 T chopped fresh thyme
1/2 t paprika
pepperI whisked the dressing, poured it over the pasta and veggies, and then tossed and tossed until everything was well mixed and coated in dressing.

This was a yummy pasta salad. I can't imagine making a bad tasting pasta salad, but I suppose it's possible if the dressing isn't a tasty dressing (I really don't enjoy store bought Italian dressings) or if the salad is not seasoned enough. Even SP really enjoyed this pasta salad, though of course he would prefer whole wheat pasta!

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