This is my favorite pasta salad. I like to make a whole meal of it by adding grilled chicken. (Somehow the chicken never made it into the photos.) It also holds up well in a packed lunch. You’ll be the envy of others eating a fast food meal or lunch meat sandwich as you feast on this.
This is one dish that turns out a bit different every time I make it, because I use what I have available or what sounds good at the moment. As always, feel free to substitute ingredients to your own tastes and pantry items.
For the salad:
bowtie pasta – This was only a 12 oz box. I prefer 16 oz box, just because I end up with more.
grape or cherry tomatoes
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Chop the veggies. Add the chopped broccoli to the pasta water about 2 minutes before the pasta finishes cooking. This is enough time to make the brocoli a bit more tender, but still crisp. Drain the pasta and broccoli and run it under cool water to stop the cooking process. Put it in a big bowl with the other veggies.
For the dressing:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup white or red wine vinegar (I used white this time)
2 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
fresh herbs such as basil, parsley, chives, tarragon etc. or use dried like I did this time
This dressing recipe comes from the New Recipes from Mooswood Restaurant cookbook. Just whisk all the ingredients together, or put them in a container with a tight fitting lid and give it a good shake.
I really like using fresh basil in this, but I didn’t want to pay for it in the grocery.
Stir the dressing into the salad. I added some mozzerella cheese to this that didn’t make it into the ingredients photo. I also like adding shredded parmesan and after cooking with gorgonzola the other day, I think that would taste great in this pasta salad too.
For the grilled chicken, just season it with salt and pepper and grill. Slice or chop it into the salad.