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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Tomato, Basil, Bean and Pasta Salad


Yeah, another success!  Thanks to the USDA SNAP-Ed Connection Program Recipe Finder.

I was leery about using all the pasta because I had just ruined a whole batch of pasta by tweaking a recipe, so I did not want a repeat performance and waste all the pasta. But, I like pasta with olive oil and basil, so I ended up with two dishes.

Not sure why, but my vinaigrette was too vinegary, so I added more olive oil.


Tomato, Basil and Bean Pasta Salad
(Adapted from USDA SNAP-Ed Connection Recipe http://recipefinder.nal.usda.gov/recipes/tomato-basil-and-bean-pasta-salad)

Ingredients

Pasta
1 small pkg of pasta
Olive oil
Basil, season to taste

Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup apple vinegar
2 teaspoons mustard, wet
pepper, season to taste

Added Ingredients
1-3 tomatoes, sliced and cut in half
1-3 tablespoons beans, kidney, or garbanzo or black beans (cooked dry beans, or canned, drained)

Toppings
Canned Parmesan cheese, season to taste.


Instructions

Pasta
Cook pasta according to package directions.
After straining pasta and placing in a large bowl, add about 2-3 tablespoons olive oil. Add more oil if necessary.
Stir.
Add crushed Basil, season to taste.
Stir thoroughly to mix.
Set aside.

Vinaigrette
In small jar, mix oil, vinegar, mustard and pepper to make a dressing.
Stir well.
Cover and shake.
Set aside.

Single Serving
In a single serving bowl, add enough pasta to make a layer on bottom of bowl.
Add tomatoes.
Add beans.
Pour a little of vinaigrette over mixture and toss together.
Cover and chill at least 1 hour.
When serving, add toppings.

Store leftover pasta, vinaigrette and added ingredients in separate covered containers and refrigerate for later use.


Alternatives:

Make a larger portion of recipe by combining all of pasta with additional added ingredients and all of vinaigrette. When serving, add toppings.

Other added ingredients can be: other fresh chopped vegetables such as cucumbers, peppers, small summer squash, carrots, broccoli or cauliflower.

Use your favorite salad dressing instead of making your own.

Use cooked rice or cooked, cut up potatoes in place of pasta.

Optional toppings: chopped walnuts and shredded mozzarella or provolone cheese.

Notes
While this recipe appears complicated, it is fairly easy. Just make the pasta. Make the vinaigrette. Gather the additional ingredients and make a single serving or multiple servings.


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