On Saturday, we had a house full of family. They had come to help out during an all day yard sale and stayed for dinner. Because everybody eats when they come to my house.
I love cooking for company but needed something easy and satisfying for both vegetarians and carnivores. So I made this pasta salad, served it with a simple green salad of arugula, sunflower seeds and goat cheese, and threw some protein on the grill. I had enough pasta salad for a small army. Luckily, it keeps well, because we'll be having it for lunch for a few days.
- 2 cups fresh green beans, cooked al dente and sliced into bite size
- 1 lb. bow tie pasta, (not egg noodle type, semolina)
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1/2 red onion, sliced into slivers
- handful of chopped parsley
- handful of chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 cup capers
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced in half
- 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
- 1 cup shaved parmesan cheese
- salad dressing
- 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
- juice of 1 lemon
- 3 TBS stone ground mustard
- a splash of the brine from the kalamata olives (jar juice) :)
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Whisk together well.
Place the green beans, onions, tomatoes, both dried and fresh into a large bowl. Cover with all of the dressing and stir occasionally while you cook the pasta. Strain and cool the pasta and add to the large bowl, incorporating well. Toss in the remaining ingredients and add salt and pepper to taste. You may not need anything because the brine from the capers and olives is quite salty.
This easily serves 12 people as a side dish. It also makes a great potluck dish to share with a crowd.