Friday, May 27, 2011

Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad...

... for all your vegan cookout needs!

But first, I'd just like to make a quick announcement. The winner of my Third Friday Giveaway of a copy of Ani's Raw Food Essentials by Ani Phyo is:

Congrats, Whitney! I'll mail you your book and some snickety-snacks soon! And for everyone else, I still have one more book to give away, so stay tuned!

Okay, so I finally broke down and got myself a $30 food processor. My last one died this past Christmas while pulverizing some oreos. Since its untimely passing, I lamented all the homemade hummus, sauces, marinades, dips, and falafel that I could no longer make (unless I wanted to do it the long way with a bunch of effort). Needless to say, it took me a whole day to make something with it after it arrived in the mail!

Since I had a cookout yesterday, I decided I wanted to make some pasta salad. Good ol'-you-can't-tell-it's-vegan-because-it's-awesome pasta salad. Since I've had an insatiable desire for fresh basil and oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, I knew that those two ingredients would be important components in my recipe. A quick search revealed an easily-veganizable recipe from the Barefoot Contessa (whom I adore...). Overall, I cut down a lot of the salt and fat in her recipe, just because that's how I roll... Well, it was also because the commenters mentioned there was way too much salt. The original recipe called for sundried tomatoes, capers, kalamata olives, kosher salt, mozzarella, and Parmesan so you can imagine that it would be thirst-inducing (as well as cruelty-inducing). Also, I don't have much money and so I can't really afford to buy ingredients that I'm pretty sure I won't like (capers). AND, I had a coupon for the olives. Bwahaha!! My mom's getting into that extreme couponing and I think it's rubbing off on me... just a little...

Anywho, this pasta salad tastes bright and fresh, with just the right amount of salt and oil and a great depth of flavor from the tomatoes, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes. It makes the perfect side dish to any cookout. My boyfriend's parents even took leftovers before we went home and my boyfriend finished off what was left that night. So none made it past the first day. I will definitely make this recipe again and again!

Pasta Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Olives:
9 oz. spiral pasta (3/4 a 12 oz. bag. I used the veggie spirals with the different colors)
1 lb. cherry tomatoes, preferably a mix of red and yellow, halved
1/2 c. chopped kalamata olives
1/2 Tb. olive oil

8 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained
1 c. fresh basil, firmly packed
2 Tb. red wine vinegar
2 Tb. olive oil
1 Tb. walnut oil (can sub olive)
1 Tb. minced garlic (2 cloves or so)
A few whole kalamata olives
1/8 tsp. black pepper

1. To make the pasta salad, cook the noodles according to package directions until tender. Drain, rinse with hot water (to keep them from sticking), drain again, then toss with the 1/2 Tb. of olive oil. Set aside to allow to cool, though occasionally give it a stir to keep it from sticking together.

2. To make the dressing, combine the oil-packed tomatoes, basil, red wine vinegar, olive and walnut oil, garlic, olives, and black pepper in a food processor. Process until pureed, scraping down the sides of the processor occasionally, to make sure everything gets combined.

3. Once the pasta has cooled, add the halved tomatoes and chopped olives and toss. Stir in the dressing and toss to coat. Cover and chill a couple of hours before serving. Makes a nice, big ol' bowl full with plenty to go around!

I hope you all enjoy your weekends!


Sarah said...

Hey there! I'm a follower of your blog and also the intern for Midwest Vegan Radio. I wanted to make sure that it was ok that I posted your blog on our facebook page. I didn't really think beforehand to make sure that it was ok with you and I apologize and can take it down. Let me know! We'd lioke to expose your blog and other vegan-centered blogs from the midwest.
Thanks Jess!

Sarah of Midwest Vegan Radio, MN Vegan blog

Anonymous said...

This looks so good. It's a perfect summer treat. I'm defiantly adding this to my summer recipe list!

Jess of Midwest Vegan said...

Yes, you can absolutely expose my blog on facebook. I'd be honored! :)

Liz said...

Pesto is my FAVORITE :)
This looks delish!