Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad

I enjoy a good pasta dish any time of year, but when it's really hot outside, pasta salad is a good way to transform the usual hot fare into something cold but still quite satisfying.

This pasta salad is a pretty classic combination of summer vegetables, herbs and cheese. Instead of roasting the red pepper, I sauteed it along with the zucchini and garlic. I've recently fallen for the authentic Greek feta cheese and recommend that in this dish, but feel free to use a domestic version if that's what's on hand.

Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad
Elements adapted from Roasted Red Pepper, Artichoke and Olive Pasta Salad by Baker By Nature

1 lb. farfalle pasta
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into julienne (pieces about 1-inch long and 1/4-inch wide)
1 zucchini cut into julienne (pieces about the same size as the bell pepper)
Salt, to taste
1-2 tsp. dried oregano
Pinch of red chili pepper flakes
2 tbsp. pine nuts
6 oz. jar of marinated artichoke hearts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup pitted olives, kalamata or a mix
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
12 or so fresh basil leaves, cut into 1/4-inch ribbons

1 tsp. minced red onion
Pinch of salt.
2-3 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain pasta and set aside to cool.

2. Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the red pepper and zucchini and season with salt, oregano and a sprinkle of red chili pepper flakes. Sauté until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

3. Heat a small frying pan over medium-low heat. Toast the pine nuts, shaking occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes. Set aside to cool.

4. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, sautéed vegetables, pine nuts, artichoke hearts, olives, feta and basil.

5. Make the dressing: add the onion and salt to a glass measuring cup or bowl. Mash with a muddler or the back of a spoon until juicy. Add the vinegar, mustard and pepper and whisk together with a fork. Add the olive oil and whisk until emulsified. Pour over the salad and toss to combine.

1 comment:

  1. I added greek dressing and it tasted a lot better