Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pasta Salad Tossed in a Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette

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Last year I found some great BBQ dishes that I made often.  This pasta salad was one of my favorites.  In fact, if you're a friend or family member reading this, chances are I've made it for you.  It was one of those dishes I couldn't get enough of!

I made sure to keep my refrigerator fully stocked with sun-dried tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and capers all summer long.  That's the beauty of this recipe, it requires mostly pantry items that you can keep on hand and have available whenever a last minute BBQ needs to be thrown together!

It's also a great dish to make ahead of time.  Making this a day ahead allow the flavors to really marinade together and the pasta salad to get to a cold temperature providing the best results. 

BBQ's are meant to enjoy with friends and family.  Being able to prepare a make ahead meal is a great way to entertain worry-free!  Hope you enjoy this summer side favorite as much as I have!


Recipe Tips
  • I didn't have a cup of basil when I photographed this recipe so don't base your basil proportions based on my pictures.  I noticed a difference in flavor and feel it's definitely best to have the full cup of basil when preparing this salad.

Begin with cooking your pasta according to the package directions.  Once cooked, toss with a tablespoon of olive oil to prevent sticking and set it in the refrigerator to chill:

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Next, take your basil leaves and stack them on top of each other, placing the largest leaves on the bottom and smaller on top:

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Then roll your stack of basil leaves into a tight roll:

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Using a small sharp knife, cut your roll in very small increments to get nice thin julienne basil strips:

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Then chop your Kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes:

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Prepare your Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette by combining your sun-dried tomatoes, capers, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small chopper.  Pulse until smooth:

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In a large serving bowl, combine your cooked pasta, feta cheese, chopped Kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, julienne cut basil leaves, and Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette:

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Toss until the ingredients are well mixed and refrigerate until chilled:


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Pasta Salad Tossed in a Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette
Adapted from Ina Garten
Serves:6-8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients
1/2 pound fusilli (spiral) pasta, cooked according to package directions
3/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and sliced thin
3/4 cup feta cheese
1 cup packed basil leaves, julienned

Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette:
5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons good olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon capers, drained
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Directions
Begin with cooking your pasta according to the package directions.  Once cooked, toss with a tablespoon of olive oil to prevent sticking.  Then chop your Kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes.  Next, julienne slice your basil leaves.  Do this by stacking your basil leaves on top of each other, placing the largest leaves on the bottom and smaller on top.  Then roll your stack into a tight roll and using a small sharp knife, cut your roll in very small increments to get nice thin julienne basil strips. 
 
Prepare your Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette by combining your sun-dried tomatoes, capers, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small chopper.  Pulse until smooth.
 
In a large serving bowl, combine your cooked pasta, feta cheese, chopped Kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes, julienne cut basil leaves, and Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette and toss until the ingredients are well mixed. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
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17 comments:

  1. I like what you did here. Yummy!

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  2. I am not a big fan of pasta salads but this one looks great! I love the sun-dried tomato vinaigrette!

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  3. Lovely mix of flavors and your photos are so clear and vivid. Glad I stopped in!

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  4. That looks incredible! I've been searching for a new pasta salad recipe and this looks perfect!

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  5. Love pasta salad for barbecues. I have a few trusted ones myself, but this looks great! I will add it to the list of my pasta recipes!

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  6. Oh this is right up my alley! I adore fresh basil, feta and sun-dried tomatoes! I love m'self some pasta salads in the summer too! Do you think my wee basil plant (that I just planted outside) will grow faster if I stare at it? ;)

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  7. I love sun-dried tomatoes! i love how you used them in pasta salad!

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  8. When it's the tail end of Spring and going into Summer, there is no better time for pasta salads. This looks so tasty, and not too time consuming! I love your recipes, can't wait for the next one.

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  9. Wow this is the perfect summer pasta salad. Definitely will have to make this dish this weekend!

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  10. Oh baby, I want to make this right now and I just ate dinner. It reminds me a bit of a gazpacho pasta salad I had at a little cafe years ago. I'm printing this one to make over the holiday weekend. Thank you so much!

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  11. Great salad; it has all my favorite ingredients.

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  12. I'm so glad it's pasta salad season again... Happy Memorial Day!

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  13. Oh, boy, and Ina salad I haven't made! I love the sound of this one...SO pretty, too ~

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  14. Wow, this looks mouth-watering. I will take your advice and make this a day ahead because I agree that the flavors will be even better after sitting together for a day. This would also make a great lunch for my girls when school goes back.

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  15. colourful combination delicious looking pasta

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  16. this pasta looks so good! thanks for posting.

    kathryn
    www.thedragonsfairytail.blogspot.com
    www.thebusybeefamileee.blogspot.com
    twitter:kathblogger

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