Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Perfect Pasta Salad

Usually, I don't get excited about pasta salad.  Sure, it is a great addition to picnic/cookout fare, but it isn't usually the main attraction so to speak.  Not this pasta salad.  It could be the main dish for a hot summer dinner on the porch.  It is that good.  This salad also comes together in minutes and you can use pretty much any veggies you happen to have on hand.  Thus, the "perfect" in my title.
Last-Minute Italian-Style Pasta Salad from 1,000 Vegan Recipes, Garlicky Kale, Watermelon

I originally made this salad because I needed something quick to take to Wedrose Acres.  We had to leave in less than an hour so I opened up 1,000 Vegan Recipes and again it worked its magic.  The recipe called for chickpeas and fortuitously that week was my week of chickpeas.  We soaked and cooked over twenty cups of chickpeas (thus the posts on Curried Chickpea Patties and we made a huge container of hummus to share at Wedrose Acres).  Also, included in the pasta salad recipe were kalamata olives.  We adore kalamata olives and usually buy them from our buying club in bulk, but we've been trying to stay within a budget and kalamata olives are expensive so I sadly omitted them.  I did happen to have sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, peas, and capers.  I threw in some chopped Italian Field Roast Grain Meat Sausages (they were on sale that week at our co-op and I bought two packages, it was amazing how far two packages went).  The dish was not too vinegary, as I find many pasta salads, and the kids loved it.  Others seemed to like it as well since it disappeared quickly and people returned for seconds.  We had to make it again later in the week because it was so good.

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