3-4 cups cooked pasta (penne or fusilli are good choices)
1 cup fresh green beans, trimmed, strings removed if necessary, and broken in half if very long
1 yellow or orange pepper, julienned or diced
(whatever floats your boat, matey!)
1 & 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1 to 2 tablespoons slivered fresh basil
Balsamic Vinaigrette (as much as you like... recipe follows)
1/2 cup crumbled feta
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (A very good coarse sea salt would be delightful!
1. Cook pasta to your liking. I recommend al dente (or as Jay likes to call it, "a la jente") because the pasta will soften as the fully prepared salad mingles and dances with the dressing in the fridge.
2. Steam green beans for 3 or so minutes, remove from pot and douse in ice water (or if you're like me and conveniently keep ice cube trays in the cupboard, unused, cold water works just as well).
3. Combine all the ingredients* in a large dish, give 'er a stir, and let it rest for a couple hours in the fridge!
*If you want the basil to maintain its vivid color, leave it out until just before serving.
1 shallot, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh basil
1 tablespoon dried italian seasoning
fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 to 3 tablespoons honey mustard (my substitution for adding Dijon mustard and honey separately)
2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Blend all the ingredients except mustard and oil. Slowly (and carefully!) drizzle them in separately while the blender is on low. Add one tablespoon at a time, finger tasting as you go! Mmmm!
Estimated Nutritional Information
(for 4 GINORMOUS servings of rainbowness made with 3 cups whole wheat pasta and no added salt)
Total Fat 10.6 g
Saturated Fat 3.6 g
Polyunsat. Fat 1.0 g
Monounsat. Fat 4.6 g
Cholesterol 16.7 mg
Sodium 239.8 mg
Potassium 271.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 65.9 g
Dietary Fiber 7.9 g
Sugars 3.4 g
Protein 14.7 g