Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Early Autumn Pasta Salad

September is almost here, but I'm not quite ready to cook hearty meals. Warm, muggy evenings call for something light and refreshing--and easy. What's more perfect than a colorful, flavor-packed pasta salad? 

  I love versatile recipes, and this one just cries out for tinkering. I was tempted to add crispy bacon (or pancetta), but we're watching our cholesterol these days (maybe turkey bacon will work?). As the month deepens, I'll add chopped apples, roasted butternut squash, and pomegranate seeds. A sprinkling of pan-toasted nuts, and maybe a little garlic. If you're looking for a one-dish meal, try a maple flavored rotisserie chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces.
 If you're still not convinced, I hope you'll try the honey vinaigrette. It's the real star. Unlike a mayonnaise-based dressing, the vinaigrette is barely there, yet packed with freshness and flavor. 

Early Autumn Pasta Salad
(Adapted from a Southern Living recipe)

Yield: 12 Servings

1-16 ounce box Mini Bow Tie (Farfalle) Pasta
1 cup chopped Vidalia onion
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
1 cup (canned black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed (if desired)
1 cup fresh asparagus tips (if desired)
1/2 teaspoon fresh dill, gently chopped
1/2 teaspoon Italian parsley, chopped

Cook and drain the pasta. I like to toss it with drizzled extra virgin olive oil. Set aside.
Chop vegetables. Place cooled pasta in a large mixing bowl. Add chopped vegetables, peas, and herbs. Mix. 
Add dressing and toss gently. 

For the dressing, whisk 1/2 cup white wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon dry English mustard, 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 4 teaspoons honey, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, Tabasco (if desired) to taste. Be sure to refrigerate the leftovers for a late-night snack.

15 comments:

  1. Yummy! This looks good and I'm always looking for a new pasta recipe, more than just peas and cheese! :) Thanks for popping in to see me and hope all is well.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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    1. Shelia, I know you're enjoying your little Willow. Love seeing her on IG.

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  2. You always show the best food! I bet everyone you know loves to eat a your house.
    Brenda

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    1. We sure love to eat (though the results are sometimes...odd. LOL).

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  3. This sounds really good. I prefer to eat light at night and have to watch carbs and fatty foods.

    I tried your Summer Pasta and it turned out really good. I cut down the amount since I live alone, but end up giving some to my friend. Very good.

    Have a wonderful cool weekend, but I am afraid that we are all in for hot, humid weather.

    Mary

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    1. I read a medical article about eating light in the evenings--and to not eat after supper (the earlier the better). It's difficult for me, but I'm trying.

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  4. Oh my gosh that looked so good on your tablescape, and it sounds even better - pinned.
    I just noticed the caricature of you on the sidebar. It must be new, as it has Jasper beside you. It has your interests well drawn, but....I thought your hair is straight? Hmmmm

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    1. I found the illustrated "crazy lady" on Canva, something pre-made, and it just called out to me. :-)

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    2. I especially like the flowers and vegetables growing out of your hat! :)

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  5. Sounds yummy! I love pasta salads and know I will like this one too!

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  6. Beautiful and delicious and the colors shout 'fall'! I love all the variations from apple, butternut squash, and bacon (a must)!

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  7. What a lovely presentation these are, and they sound scrumptious!

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