Saturday, April 9, 2011

Colorful Rainbow Pasta Salad for Spring

Serve our colorful spring pasta salad at your next luncheon, brunch or as a side with your family dinner. Easy to make, and keeps in the refrigerator for 3 days.


Rainbow Bow Tie Pasta ("Farfalle Arcobaleno"), 8 Ounce Package, $12

  • One bag of our Italian Harvest Rainbow Bow Ties pasta

  • 1 ounce (1 package) of fresh basil, chopped, reserving a few ribbons for garnish

  • 1 package grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes (preferably yellow and orange if available)

  • Good olive oil

  • White balsamic vinegar (regular balsamic vinegar will work, but will discolor the pasta)

  • 1 package (6 ounces) frozen peas

  • 1/2 cup (or more, to your taste) grated mixed asiago, fontina and parmesan cheese (available at Top Foods or Fred Meyer)

  • Salt and pepper to taste


In a large pasta pot, boil lightly salted water to a gentle boil. Carefully add the entire bag of pasta. Bow tie pasta is delicate, so boil gently - no rolling boil. Follow package directions for boiling time, but for pasta salad I recommend boiling for one minute less so the pasta is firmer.

Immediately remove the pan from the heat and drain pasta. Run a bit of cold water over pasta to stop cooking, and gently fluff the pasta with your hands so it doesn't stick together. Set pasta aside to cool for twenty minutes or so.

While the pasta cools, cook frozen peas to their package's directions.

Slice cherry or grape tomatoes in half.

Chop basil or slice in ribbons as you prefer.

When pasta is cool, toss peas, basil, cheese and tomatoes into the pasta. Drizzle olive oil and white balsamic vinegar over the pasta til it's moist but not drenched. Toss through the pasta. (You can also make the vinaigrette ahead of time and stir it through).

Serve in a pretty bowl, then top with a sprinkling of cheese and basil ribbons as garnish.

Serve cold and enjoy!

Other delicious items you can add to your Spring Pasta Salad:

  • Sliced hearts of palm

  • Sliced green olives

  • Asparagus, blanched for 2-3 minutes first

  • Artichoke hearts

  • Thinly sliced radishes

  • Perlini mozzarella balls

Our other colorful pastas also work beautifully in a Spring Pasta Salad

Orecchiete "Little Ears" Pasta, $7

Capricci Mix Multicolor Pasta, $7.50

Shop at the Gilded Lily for these and our other gourmet foods for elegant spring entertaining!

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