DINNER

pasta salad

pasta salad

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces (about 225g) of pasta (penne, fusilli, rotini, or any other bite-sized pasta)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup cucumber, diced

  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup black olives, sliced (optional)
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped (optional)

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Once al dente, drain the pasta and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  2. Prepare the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, Dijon mustard, honey (or maple syrup), salt, and pepper. Adjust the seasonings to your taste preferences.
  3. Combine the ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, add the cooked and cooled pasta, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red and green bell peppers, red onion, black olives (if using), and feta cheese (if using). Toss everything together gently.
  4. Dress the pasta salad: Pour the prepared dressing over the pasta and vegetables. Mix until all the ingredients are well coated with the dressing.

  1. Chill and rest: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate the pasta salad for at least 1-2 hours (or even overnight) before serving. Chilling allows the flavors to meld together and enhances the taste.
  2. Add fresh basil (optional): Just before serving, sprinkle chopped fresh basil leaves over the pasta salad for an extra burst of flavor and color.
  3. Serve: Give the pasta salad a final toss to redistribute the dressing, and then serve it cold. It’s a delightful dish on its own or alongside grilled meats, burgers, or sandwiches.

Enjoy your delicious homemade pasta salad! Feel free to experiment with different vegetables, cheeses, or dressings to suit your taste preferences.

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