Pasta Salad with a Kick!

September 9th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , ,

I was in a “Tasmanian Devil” mode making a pasta salad for a backyard work bar-be-cue that was a hit. I ad libbed with ingredients I had on hand, so like any good Italian in the kitchen I didn’t measure things out, but added to my serving bowl until it seemed just right. It was so delicious I enjoyed it for dinner, while hubby had it for lunch. Glad there was enough left for the company!

Ingredients
500 gm pasta noodles (try tri-coloured bowties or rotini)
bunch asparagus spears
prepped mini carrots
1 540mL/28oz can chick peas (rinsed)
marinated hot bell peppers (chopped, add to your liking)
200mL/12oz marinated artichokes
200mL/12oz marinated black olives (pitted and sliced)
chopped sun-dried tomatoes
feta cheese (crumbled)
asiago cheese (shredded coarsely)
bunch green onion (chopped)
diced spanish onion
3 crushed garlic cloves
sea salt (to taste)
ground black pepper (to taste)
hot chilli pepper (to taste, optional)
olive oil (add sparingly, to your liking)
balsamic vinegar (add sparingly, to your liking)
lime juice (add sparingly, to your liking)

Instructions
1) Bring water to a boil and add in dry pasta and cook according to the package instructions. When cooked to your liking strain, rinse with cold water and add to your bowl.
2) Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Wash and prepare asparagus and carrots. Place evenly on the pan. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and ground pepper. Roast in the oven for ~20 minutes or until tender. When cooked remove from oven, cool then cut in pieces and add to your bowl.
3) Meanwhile in a large bowl add all ingredients except seasonings, oil, vinegar and lime juice which you’ll add once all of the ingredients are in the bowl. Stir to combine ingredients evenly and season to your liking.
4) Cover and refrigerate. Make this a day in advance for the flavours coalesce. Enjoy!

Commentary
This is a perfect pasta salad which can be served with a meal or enjoyed AS a meal. It’s a complete meal, perfect to tote for work or school lunches and tastes even more delectable a day or two after you made it. It’s easy to make half your plate veggies with this recipe!

You can certainly add more or different ingredients to your bowl depending what you have on-hand. I’d add green peas the next time and roast a few red peppers for an even richer flavour. Use any type of cheese you have available. You can add or sub in hard boiled eggs or drained flaked tuna/ salmon or chopped up cooked leftover chicken or beef.

Let your imagination run wild and make it any way you wish as you can do no wrong with this in your repertoire and it doesn’t take a lot time to prepare.

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