Monday, July 18, 2011

Recipe for Today - Cold Pasta

My customers at a recent Garden Show asked me how to use some of the mixes they previously purchased.  So I decided that I should share a recipe or two a week using the mixes I make and sell. 

Between my husband and I experimenting with the mixes and recipes is something we actually do all the time, but what I realized is that cooking is our hobby and it may not be everyone’s so to make it easier, I will do all the work and experimentation and you can make the recipes and take all the credit!

In the summer something quick and simple is always called for.  I like to turn to pasta for something flavorful that will mix with both vegetables and proteins for a quick and tasty one dish meal.

Today I am sharing some of our favorite recipes for hot and cold pasta dishes that you can whip up in no time.  In fact a couple are great to take on a picnic, so dig in and enjoy!

Pasta Confetti

1 ½ to 2 cups small shaped pasta (wagon wheel or orzo, acini di pepe, ditalini, falafel (bow tie), etc cooked according to package directions
2 – 3 red, green or yellow bell papers, seeded and finely dices
1 medium cucumber, seeded and finely dices (peeled if not organic)
1 medium carrot, finely dices
2 -3 scallions (green and white parts) finely sliced
¼ cup fresh chopped parsley

For Dressing
½ cup extra- virgin olive oil
3 Tbls. lemon juice
1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Combine cooked pasta with vegetables in a large bowl.  Whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over pasta mixture.  Toss to combine well.  Serve warm, chilled or at room temperature.  This is a great picnic pleaser.  It is light, fresh tasting and packed with vegetable flavors.

Pasta with Garlic & Basil

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup chopped prosciutto or other salt-cured ham
6 to 8 plum tomatoes
3 Tbls Garlic & Herb Combination, separated.
salt & pepper to taste
1 - 1 ½ lbs. cut pasta (like penne, ziti, or rigatoni) cooked according to package directions

Heat oil over medium heat in pot large enough to hold cooked pasta later.  Sauté the ham until the warmed through.  Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper and simmer covered for 10 minutes.  Add 2 Tbls of Garlic & Herb Combination and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.  Drain the pasta when tender but firm (al dente) and add to the sauce.  Add the remaining Tbls of Garlic and Herbs and toss the pasta, adding a little pasta water if the sauce is too dry.  Serve sprinkled with parmesan cheese.  Serves 4 to 6.

Italian Pasta Salad

1 cup spiral pasta, cooked according to package directions
¼ stick pepperoni, sliced thin
1 can black olives, sliced
1 cup crisp cooked broccoli, chilled

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and rinse in cold water.  Place in a large bowl and toss with prepared Backyard Patch Italian Dressing and Marinade (acc. to dressing recipe.)  Slice olives and pepperoni and toss into pasta.  Cut broccoli into bite size pieces and toss gently into pasta.  Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.  Serves 4 to 6.  This one travels well and I use it for quick spur of the moment picnics.

Happy picnicking!

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