Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pasta Salad

Because Adam goes into an office everyday and can't come home for lunch I have needed to get more creative in home lunch ideas. A turkey sandwich everyday gets "old" as Adam says. So I headed over to trader joe's last week and picked up some foccacia bread and a few ingredients to make a pasta salad. It's the perfect solution, the salad can go as a side to half a sandwich or paired with a chunk of bread can be a complete meal. We decided that the salad was such a hit that once a week I'll get a few different ingredients and will make a pasta salad for homemade lunches. That's my favorite thing about pasta salads they are so versatile they can be as complex or a simple as you like. You prefer mozzarella cheese: use it, don't like olives: hold em, you get the idea. This recipe is for a Mediterranean style pasta salad. Try it out It keeps really well and like I said customize it to your liking! 

Mediterranean Pasta Salad:

1lb tri color pasta, boiled till al dente in salted water 
1 can olives, black or kalamata
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, I used the kind packed oil in a jar
1/4 cup red onion, diced
8 oz feta cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
A few handfuls of spinach (as much as you prefer) 
1/2 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp pepper 
1/2 tsp oregano, dried 
1/2 -3/4 cup Balsamic Vinaigrette salad dressing 
Saute spice (1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic powder)

After pasta has cooked for 7-9 minutes drain in colander and pour pasta into a large bowl, toss with a couple of tablespoons of salad dressing to keep pasta from sticking as it cools. Allow pasta to cool completely to room temperature. When pasta reaches room temperature, toss in olives, tomatoes, onion, cheeses and spinach, mix thoroughly. Mix salt, pepper and oregano with salad dressing in small bowl and pour over pasta, toss (or cover with lid and shake). Finish with saute spice and toss again. Cover bowl with lid and place in refrigerator till ready to use, it's best if it sits over night.

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