Pinned it Tuesday: margherita pasta salad

19 Mar

While I did a great job in January and February sticking to my new year’s resolution to bring lunch to work more often (only purchasing lunch twice each month!), March has been a complete blowout.  I think I’ve probably failed to BMOL (bring my own lunch) somewhere between six and eight times.  It’s not easy keeping this resolution, and requires a bit of planning, so in that interest I decided to throw together a quick pasta salad…which I of course pinned!

Margherita Pasta Salad

  • 3/4 lb ziti
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, diced
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, slivered
  • 1 cup marinated ­artichoke hearts, drained and halved 
  • 1 can sliced black olives (I used regular black olives because canned olives gross me out!)
  • 3/4 cup bottled Italian dressing (I’m not a huge fan of bottled Italian dressing so I used the dressing below)
  • 1/4 tsp ­pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Directions: In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook ¾ lb ziti until al dente. Drain.   In a large bowl, combine ziti, diced mozzarella, chopped fresh basil, slivered sun-dried tomatoes, marinated ­artichoke hearts, black olives, bottled Italian dressing (or dressing of your choice), and pepper.  Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and fresh basil.  Add salt to taste, if desired.

(original recipe here)

margherita pasta

“Best Dressing”

I put this title in quotation marks because while I thought it was pretty good, it definitely wasn’t the end all of dressings (in my opinion).  Now, to be fair, I obviously left out the Dijon mustard so perhaps that is a key ingredient that altered the taste of the dressing.  Although I cannot imagine a world in which mustard is the key to anything.  Gross.

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard (I obviously left out!)
  • 1/2 tablespoon tamari sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1-2 teaspoons seasoned salt (more or less to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 small white onion, minced
  • 1 small clove garlic, grated on a microplane

Directions:  Whisk together all ingredients.  Store refrigerated up to 1 week.

(original recipe here)

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