Sunday, June 27, 2010

My Mom's Pasta Salad

This is a variation on a wonderful pasta salad my mom makes. I could never truly recreate her recipe, but believe me I try! It is a great add to any BBQ cookout or potluck. It is great warm with dinner, or save it and have cold as a snack or with a sandwich.

Warning: Following this recipe exactly will give you a potluck sized portion. I normally cut it in half for everyday use and have some leftover for about a week or two.

Momma's Pasta Salad
  • 1 lbs dried salad macaroni
  • 5 tbsp pesto
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 10-15 dehydrated whole sun dried tomatoes*
  • 10-12 marinated artichoke hearts
  • 6-10 broccoli florets, raw
  • 1-1/2 tsp prepared brown mustard
  • olive oil
  • parmesan, salt and pepper to taste
  1. Place desired amount of the tomatoes into a bowl of warm water. Soak until tender. To speed up this process, the cold may need to be replaced with warm water multiple times throughout. This can even be done the night before.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Before the water reaches a boil, add salt, pepper and a splash of olive oil to season the pasta. Boil for 9 to 11 minutes (or follow the cooking instructions on the package).
  3. While the water is boiling add the pesto, lemon juice and mustard to the bottom of a large mixing bowl. When tender, drain the macaroni and add directly to the same mixing bowl. If unsure about the potency of the flavors, it is best to start with half of those ingredients and add the rest or more to your liking after adding the bulk of the other ingredients.
  4. Also, while the water is boiling and the macaroni is cooking, start cutting the tomatoes and artichoke hearts into bite sized chunks. Then take the broccoli and cut the very top of it, just leaving the stems.
  5. After adding the pasta to the seasonings, add the veggies. Add 1 tbsp of artichoke marinade. Mix so everything is evenly distributed throughout the pasta.
  6. Add parmesan to taste. The amount varies due to how big the veggies are and how wet the mixture is. Add salt and pepper to taste. And Serve.
Options and considerations:
  • I use dehydrated sun dried tomatoes because they are lighter, cheaper and have only 40 calories per .5 ounce. Jarred sun dried tomatoes can also be used. Note that they are normally jarred in olive oil and that can weigh down the salad.
  • Different pestos change the consistency of the salad. If find the mixture is too dry, you can add pasta water 1/2 c. at a time and 1 tsp of olive oil. If the pesto used is wetter, dry mustard maybe used, or add more parmesan cheese to soak up the extra moisture ;)
  • If serving cold, wait to add the parmesan cheese until the mixture has cooled a bit and then mix through and but in the fridge for a few hours.

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