Exit 34 in North Bend, Washington. Just 30 minutes east of Seattle on I-90. 10 minutes away from Snoqualmie Falls & Snoqualmie Casino.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

What does one serve at a party in the fall? Why, a summery pasta salad, of course.

Who would do such a thing? Maybe a person who just can’t let go of summer. Maybe a person who plays Christmas music in October. Maybe a confused person. Or maybe someone who has an ungodly amount of love for pesto.  Maybe me.

Pesto, I love you. Don’t tell apple cider.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound spiral (or insert your favorite shape here) whole wheat (or regular) pasta
  • 7 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 ounce container of pine nuts
  • 4 ounces of fresh basil (this can be purchased in the produce department of the grocery store if you don’t grow your own)
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 cup mayonaise
  • 1/2 cup canned  julienne-cut, sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, sliced into fours

Boil water in a medium large pot then add pasta and about a teaspoon of salt. Boil for the length of time instructed on the packaging. When done, drain and rinse with cool water in a strainer. Place pasta in a large bowl.

Place garlic cloves, pine nuts, basil, olive oil, Parmesan cheese in food processor and process until everything becomes almost like a paste texture to make pesto.

Add pesto, salt & pepper, mayonaise, sun dried tomatoes and Kalamata olives. Stir until combined. Chill for a few of hours and serve.

If planning in advance for a party: Pesto, salt & pepper, mayonaise, sun dried tomatoes and Kalamata olives can be mixed together  & placed in a smaller container in the fridge until ready to put salad together. Cook noodles on day of party, chill and then mix pasta with other ingredients in a larger bowl.

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© Deanna Morauski 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013