Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

We had a church bbq a few weeks ago and I need to bring a salad to. I was sick of always bringing the same old pasta salad and didn't want to bring potato salad or salad with mayo in it because it was super hot out so I went in search for a yummy looking new take on the pasta salad. I found this recipe over at Mel's Kitchen Cafe and since she never disappoints(as in I have never used one of her recipes that I didn't like/love) I decided to give this one a whirl. Can I just say that this is my new go to pasta salad. It is amazing!!!

Mediterranean Pasta Salad
1 lb tri color pasta(I used rotini but use whatever you like)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. dijon mustard(I only had spicy brown so that is what I used)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes(I like Mel like the sun-dried tomatoes in a jar packed in oil)
1 can drained and diced artichoke hearts(I didn't use these because I didn't have any on hand)
1/4 cup fresh basil torn into small pieces or 1 T. dried
2 tsp fresh oregano chopped or 1/2 tsp dried
1/4 cup red onion
3/4 cup black or kalamata olives, sliced
2 tsp saute spice(equal parts pepper, salt and garlic powder make some up and keep in with all your other spices)
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil to make a smooth dressing. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to bowl . Add the pasta and cook until al dente;drain then pour pasta into a large bowl. While the pasta is still warm pour in a couple of Tablespoons. of the dressing and toss with pasta so that the pasta doesn't stick together as it cools. Let it cool to room temp. When that pasta is cooled, add the sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes of using, basil, oregano, onion, olives, saute spice, and oregano and toss. Add the rest of the dressing and toss again until ingredients are evenly coated with dressing. Add the cheeses and lightly toss.Serve at room temp or chilled.

Note: Instead of the artichokes I used some cut up little tomatoes because I had some that needed to be used. Just use what suites your fancy.

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