Friday, June 10, 2011

Spanish Summer Pasta Salad

   I know people who trick themselves into thinking they don't like pasta for weird fad diets.  However, I don't know anyone who truly hates pasta.  A big bowl of hot or cold pasta is irresistible even to people who have wheat allergies.  It is something we are hard wired to adore.  For summer, a cold pasta salad is perfect for a light dinner with a salad, on a BBQ buffet, for a picnic, or as starch alternative to potatoes for those really hot days.

   This particular pasta salad was inspired by an old vegetarian cookbook that I've had for about 10 years.  It has great ideas for unique side dishes when I get in a rut.
Spanish Summer Pasta Salad
1 box (13 oz) whole wheat penne, bow tie, or rotini pasta
1 large sweet bell pepper (red, yellow, or orange), cut into thin strips
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp capers
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
2 tsp pasted garlic
1 tsp honey
juice of 1 large lemon
red pepper flakes (optional)
salt and pepper

   In a large bowl, oil, lemon juice, honey, garlic, herbs, garlic, and capers.  Add a little salt and pepper
   Cook pasta according to package directions in very salty water.  2 minutes before pasta is done add bell pepper strips.  Drain.  Add to dressing while still very warm.  Toss.  Sprinkle with red pepper flakes.
   Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to overnight.
   Serves 4-6.

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