Pasta e Fagioli Salad (Pasta & Bean Salad with Vegetables)
A guest post from our customer Lynne!
½ Pound cooked whole wheat penne pasta
1 Small zucchini, diced
1 Tomatoes, diced or ½ pint grapes tomatoes, halved
½ Bulb fennel, sliced
1 Yellow, red or green pepper, diced
Handful of sugar snap peas, blanched
Small bunch asparagus, cut into bite-sized pieces and blanched
½ Large cucumber, diced
1 14 ounce can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
Cheese – feta, goat, mozzarella, whatever you have on-hand (optional)
White Balsamic Vinaigrette
This salad is a play on the well-known soup. If you like the soup, you’ll love the salad! It’s easy to make. All of my produce, including the beans, is organic.
Prepare all of your vegetables. I blanch the asparagus and sugar snap peas together. Bring water to a boil and drop in the vegetables. Let them cook for about 5
minutes and then take them out and submerge in cold water. This stops the cooking and helps retain their bright green color.
Take the vegetables out of the water with a slotted spoon or hand strainer and reuse the boiling water to cook the pasta. This adds extra flavor to the penne.
Cook your pasta, rinse under cool water and drain. Assemble the salad by putting all of the vegetables, pasta and beans in a large bowl.
Toss with the dressing and add cheese, if desired. You could also skip the dried basil in the dressing and add fresh basil to the salad.
This dish is excellent served warm, at room temperature and cold. Enjoy!
White Balsamic & Basil Vinaigrette
Make as much or as little dressing as you like on your salad. I don’t like a lot of dressing in mine, so I use:
2 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 – 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/8 Teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 Teaspoon dried basil
Salt and Pepper to taste
It is easy to make dressing in a glass jar. Add the vinegar, garlic powder, basil, salt and pepper. Cover and shake to dissolve the salt, garlic powder and basil. I make the dressing first so the basil can hydrate in the vinegar. After it’s all dissolved, add the olive oil and shake to emulsify. You can substitute lemon juice for the vinegar, which is also delicious.