I have been very lax regarding keeping track of recipes and posting them but I am gonig to try and rectify that posthaste;)
To start I will tell you of a tasty "summer on a plate" type of pasta salad I just made. Really good fresh tomatoes, basil and just ripe avocadoes are key here. I lucked out and got some amazing fresh tomatoes at my local grocery store as the garden ones are still quite green;) My basil is doing great so I used a ton in this and it was teh bomb! It really does taste better when you grow it yourself;)
16 oz rotini pasta or similar shape
2 med. tomatoes (once again the fresher the better as we all know the usual grocery store ones are mealy and tasteless) cored, seeded and chopped
1 avocado diced (I do not like the taste avocadoes get once they are too ripe so I prefer to use one that is still fairly firm, also this makes it easier to dice)
1/2 large Walla Walla Sweet onion chopped
1 large or 2 small cloves of garlic minced
1 cup of fresh basil leaves cut into ribbons (a la chiffonade)
About 1/3 cup of red wine vinegar
About 1/2 cup of olive oil
salt & pepper
freshly grated/shredded Parmesan cheese to garnish if desired
Cook the pasta in lots of boiling salted water until just al dente. As with most pasta/potato salads this will be better after sitting overnight and you don't want the pasta to get too mushy as it absorbs the dressing and juices from the tomatoes so keep it on the firmer side of al dente.
Pour the red wine vinegar into the bowl you will be using for the salad so it needs to be pretty big. Add the minced garlic and some salt & pepper and let that sit while you chop the tomato & onion dumping those in as you go. Give this a good toss. Let it sit while the pasta finishes cooking.
Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water. Let this sit and drain further while you slice up the basil. Add about 1/2 the basil to the mix already in the bowl and toss. Then add the drained pasta and drizzle the olive oil into the mix while gently folding it all together. Depending on the pasta use your judgement as to how much to add.
Dice the avocado and add last so it gets the least bruising and exposure to oxygen to keep it bright green. Scatter the remaining basil over the top and cover well with plastic wrap pressed down onto the surface to keep out air & moisture. Refrigerate overnight and when serving just toss lightly and sprinkle on some parmesan cheese. It tastes best when closer to room temp and since there is no mayo you don't have to worry about it sitting out at a picnic or bbq.
Something magical about the flavors here all just come together and say summer to me; hence the name;)
Late Night Cafe
- "Summer On A Plate" Pasta Salad