Pasta Salad with Zucchini & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Summer means spending more time outdoors--when was the last time you packed up a picnic? It can be difficult to be creative with food when you know it has to be transportable, flexible, and delicious. Pasta salad is a new favorite at my house. I have had my share of mediocre pasta salads at parties, and I can guarantee you this recipe is a winner (I got lots of thumbs ups and hi-fives when I put this dish on the table the other night for friends). Remember that a pasta salad, so long as it has a great dressing, can be really flexible! Add in some grilled zucchini (because, let's be honest, the grill is going to be fired up anyhow!) and sun-dried tomatoes, and you'll have people going back for seconds and thirds.

Better yet, it gets even better when stored for a bit! Try taking along this pasta salad on your next picnic--and let me know how it goes ;)

Before I bust out this recipe--have you signed up for the Portland Bloggers Picnic this Sunday? It's going to be a blast!!

Although this is a free event--RSVP is required as space is limited! Get your RSVP in here.

Ok--now on to the food!


Pasta Salad with Zucchini & Sun-dried Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb bowtie pasta, cooked to package instructions
  • 2 T pepper-infused olive oil (can substitute regular with chili flakes)
  • 2 small zucchini squash, sliced into quartered longways, then chopped post grill
  • 10-12 grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 c diced sun-dried tomatoes
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Parmesan, grated to top
  • Dressing:
    • 2 T apple cider vinegar
    • 3 garlic cloves, lightly crushed with the side of a knife blade, and quartered
    • 1 t stone ground mustard
    • 1 t dried oregano
    • 1/4-1/2 c fresh basil chopped
    • 1/2 t salt
    • 1/8 t ground black pepper
    • 1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil

Method

After straining the noodles, place them in a large bowl on top of the quartered tomatoes. This will soften them. Combine all ingredients for the dressing and blend in a blender until smooth. Add to the large bowl the zucchini, olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, and dressing; stir well to combine. Serve warm or cold. This recipe will keep in the fridge for up to five days if well sealed. Serves 8.
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