Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Garden Pasta Salad

Summer time and the sides get easier! I have a tough time figuring out side dishes to serve during the colder months, but summer time mean veggies fresh from the farm and lots of ways to serve them. This pasta salad is an excellent way to start. You can customize this pasta salad with the vegetables you have on hand or to your taste. But what I really love abut it is the vinaigrette--light and not overly oily or overpowering. Just enough flavor to bring it all together and highlight the crisp veggies. Easy to make too! You can get all the veggies chopped while the noodles boil, then toss together, dress and voila! Plus, this makes a bunch, but you could double it up for a party or BBQ.

I'm a fan of mix and match recipes. Well, less of a recipe and more of a formula. In the June 2011 issue of Food Network Magazine, they shared a 5 part ratio of putting together an excellent pasta salad to taste and this is the version I concocted. I skipped the protein portion this time, but added a extra helping of vegetables to round things out. I mildly adjusted the vinaigrette with red wine vinegar and red onion since I was out of white wine vinegar and shallots. The result is great and I'm looking forward to making this again and enjoying it all summer.

Garden Pasta Salad


8 ounces bow tie pasta
1 cup broccoli florets
1 medium tomato
1 red pepper
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper, to taste
1/3 cup olive oil

Boil noodles according to instructions to al dente. While noodles cook, prepare vegetables. If using frozen broccoli, steam and drain. Chop tomato and pepper to roughly 1/2 inch chunks.

Drain and rinse pasta in cool water. Place in a large bowl.

Add vegetables and mix to combine. And cheese and mix again.

In a small bowl, combine vinegar, onion, salt and pepper. Gradually drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly until everything is combined.

Pour over pasta mixture and toss to combine. Chill until ready to serve.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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