Writing about what feeds me.
Tomato, Corn and Basil Pasta Salad
Threw this one together way back in the day, quite similar to this recipe, but found that this time around was better since I found out:
a) it does just fine without cheese
b) it does just fine without pesto
c) it does just fine without any meat, which means it can be vegan!
Sourcing from some available ingredients in my roommate’s kitchen (canned corn, half a box of farfalle) and only picking up a few at the store, this was an excellent, healthy and quick dinner that easily serves four or provides plenty of leftovers for the next day (which is great since the ingredients will have marinated nicely by then). I referenced only one recipe, but got the idea for a pinch of crushed pepper flakes from Martha Stewart’s recipe, which suggests leeks as well. I would say that artichoke hearts and/or garbanzo beans would add great flavor and texture.
Cook pasta according to directions on box. Strain pasta and rinse in cold water. Whisk oil, vinegar, salt & pepper, crushed red pepper (or hold off till later if anyone is sensitive to spice), basil and garlic in measuring cup (e.g. Pyrex) or small bowl to blend and create “dressing”. Transfer pasta to a large mixing bowl. Add tomatoes, peppers and red onion to bowl and mix. Blend in dressing and mix well. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed.
At this point, the pasta salad is technically ready to serve, but minimum 2 hrs or more (overnight, even) chilling time will allow the flavors to marinate and mix in. This is also when you can add the tuna and/or cheese if so desired. I don’t think the cheese is necessary at all, but the tuna does provide some protein; it will also alter the consistency a little, so be sure to add a little bit of water to the pasta salad to balance it out.
Considering how little planning I put into this, I was pretty happy with the result. I served it on top of some mixed greens, added more sliced peppers, some slices of English cucumber and a little avocado. Definitely a great balance of vegetables with the pasta salad. I love this recipe because the flavors are next to impossible to mess up and result in the type of simple dish I have to forcibly stop myself from eating – HA!