Sep 6, 2009

Michele's Italian Pasta Salad

So it's been forever since I've blogged. I know this, because one of my "beeps" (bakespace peep), Michele, reminded me recently. In fact, I think her exact words were..."yah, you slacker". LOL In my own defense, I have been busy and it IS summer after all...there's bbq'ing, family crap, last kid going off to college, tomato'ing (yes, in spite of spell check, that's a DD'ism), sipping cocktails, date nights with hubby in the hot tub on those starry nights, (did I mention the last kid going off to college?) Uh-um, and well, you get the idea. Busy life stuff.

So in honor of my beep, Michele (that's with one "l"), aka "Jersey Girl", I thought I'd share with you a fantastic pasta salad that she recently turned me on to. Her original recipe is for a pesto pasta salad and you can find it on her awesome blog, My Italian Grandmother. When I saw the recipe, I just knew it was packed with flavor and I was so excited to try it out. However, I had planned on using my fresh basil plants for the pesto and by the time I got around to harvesting it, both bushes had flowered and the leaves were too bitter. So I franticly pm'd my pal and she gave me some very helpful suggestions with utilizing the ingredients including the fresh herbs I did have. (thanks Shels) The results were quite amazing and everyone was asking me for the recipe. So here it is people!

Italian Pasta Salad

1 lb Farfalle (bowtie) pasta (or other pasta)
1/2 C sundried tomatoes, in oil, drained and chopped
1 C Kalamata olives, sliced
1 8oz pkg fresh mozzarella, diced
1/2 C Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shredded
1/3 C pinoli (pine) nuts, toasted
2 Tbsp fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
sea salt and ground pepper to taste
Italian Dressing (recipe follows)

Cook pasta in salted boiling water then drain. When cooled, toss in the rest of the ingredients (except for the pine nuts, dressing, salt and pepper) then prepare your dressing.

For the Italian Dressing, you could use bottled, but this is what I did:
In a pint sized jar with a lid:
2 Tbsp Penzeys Italian Dressing Mix, steeped in 4 Tbsp warm water
2/3 C Balsamic Vinegar
The oil drained from the sundried tomatoes plus
enough olive oil to equal 1 1/2 C.
2 cloves of garlic, minced

Then I couldn't help adding just a few more fresh herbs from my garden so I added 1 Tbsp of oregano and 1 Tbsp of thyme, chopped. Place the lid on the jar and shake. Pour at least half of the jar over the pasta and toss. Refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors meld. Just before serving, toss in the pine nuts and add more dressing if necessary. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

I can tell you that the first time I made this for a family bbq, my guests literally swooped down on it before I had a chance to grab the camera. The second time, I made it with the spiral pasta and was taking it to a pitch in, so I managed to get some shots in before packing it up to go. Yeah, lesson learned.

Thanks Michele for yet another great recipe! This one is definitely a keeper. You rock girl! I love you man! :)


Michele said...

Thanks so much! Did I really call you a slacker? Yeah, I probably did! LOL This week I'm the slacker! Your pasta looks wonderful. I use the rotini pasta sometimes too!

Courtney said...

That looks so good.. Now I'm craving carbs!

Danielle said...

I've made micheles pasta salad for work and it was a huge hit!! Love the addition of pine nuts! so how come you didnt invite me over for some? huh? huh? :)

DDpie said...

Shels- uhm, yes, you did LOL

Courtney- quit reading blogs this late girl!

Dani- good friends don't need an invite, they just show up!

tango's trash & treasures said...

Oh yummmm!!!!

Culinary Alchemist said...

HOLY COW!! That looks SO delicious! mmmmmm Carbohydrate Coma... But WELL worth it... ;)

Bob said...

That looks wicked good. Man, I went the whole summer without any pasta salad. I'm need to bust some out before it's cold!

girlichef said...

This does sound delicious! I do not blame you one bit...enjoy those summer nights in the hottub! :D

matt74 said...

Looks great DD!

Patti T. said...

This recipe is a great one isn't it? I came home with an empty bowl last time I made it to take to a cookout. Yours looks very pretty with the rotini.