Monday, June 7, 2010

Whole Grain Pasta Salad

Happy Monday and 15.5 days of school left. I have less days with the kids, but that is the total amount I have to go into work....and then summer is calling my name! 
I forgot to mention on my post yesterday that after going to the farmer's market, we went to my Aunt Millie's. I wish I hadn't bought strawberries at the farmer's market because she had SO many.  (I actually don't mind that I bought the strawberries from the farmer's market because it's going to a good place, but the fresh strawberries don't last as long.)
My Aunt Louise put a small strawberry patch in years ago and it is my Aunt Millie's pride and joy.
Did I mention she's 93? and I'm only 5'3", so you can see how "tall" she is. She's amazing. She walks everyday and takes care of this backyard like nothing else. Not a weed in site. 
This is the next thing I'm waiting for....GRAPES!!

Okay, now time for the recipe. I like macaroni salad, but sometimes on a really hot day I just am not down with all of the mayo. I like to make something lighter, that has a little more substance to it. (Uncle Tommy, don't be offended, you know I love your mac salad any day...)

Whole Grain Pasta Salad
1 box (1 lb) Barilla Plus whole grain pasta 
1 container cherry or grape tomatoes (cut in half)
1 cup (or a little less is okay) cooked chickpeas
1 small container sliced black olives
1/2 can artichoke hearts (cut into 1/4ths)
2 carrots (grated)
5 leaves, fresh basil, chopped
a handful of fresh parsley, chopped
1 small block of mozzarella cheese, grated (more or less for your particular taste is fine!)
1/4 cup grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese
2 tbsp extra virgin oil oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing (I used Trader Joe's, you can also make your own)
sea salt and black pepper to taste

Cook pasta, al dente (slightly hard, about 11 minutes). While pasta is cooking, chopped all of your veggies and herbs. Add to a very large bowl. When the pasta is done, run it under cool water or let it sit until it is cool. Add to the big bowl. Continue to add all of the ingredients, leaving the olive oil, balsamic and dressing until the end. Mix it up well. Add the salt and pepper to taste. Add more of the balsamic vinaigrette dressing, until it is perfect. Enjoy this as a main course or a side dish.

What is your favorite side dish at a barbeque?


Kat said...

How jealous I am of your supplier!! Strawberries AND grapes?! So lucky!

Trix said...

Omg, your aunt is SO cute!!! I hope I have that much energy when I'm 93, how cool is she? And the pasta salad looks yummy!

Christine said...

Aunt Millie always takes the best pictures!

Those strawberries taste sooo good! I would have to say mac salad is my favorite bbq meal!

hbobier @ Basil Vodka said...

I love cold pasta salads. Wait. I changed my mind. My favorite side dish is definitely beer. Does that count as a side?

I'm totally counting it.

Emily said...

This sounds so good AND healthy! :)
Your aunt is adorable!!!!

Fit Chick in the City said...

I've never heard of those nut butters before. Does desert count as a side dish?

Katie @ Health for the Whole Self said...

Cold pasta salad is probably my favorite side dish, and this one sounds great! said...

oh i love that pic! how cute :) i have 9 days left-yay!

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said...

my grandma was under 4'10" I am 5'11" and she looked like half my size LOL and lived til 90 and walked to 7am mass, every day, 1 mile each way, til a month or so before she died.

LOVE this family pic..this is why i read blogs, not to see food, but to see family and life and happiness!

pegasuslegend said...

fsbulous read and the strawberry plants look like I could pick them off the screen~

Simply Life said...

oh this salad looks great - I love pasta salad in the summer!

lynn @ the actors diet said...

i love pasta salad! i can't believe when i was a kid i used to only know how to make it from a box mix.

Melissa @ For the Love of Health said...

My God!! I hope I look as good as she does when I'm 70!! :-)
Amazing looking strawberries and salad!!

Jennifer said...

Wow! I wish I had an Aunt that could hook me up with strawberries like that! :) That pasta salad looks SO good. Ever since memorial day, pasta salad is like all I am craving lol.

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