Awesome Pasta Salad and Ciabatta Fries

Pasta Salad

Pasta SaladI made this dish for Valentine’s Day lunch. Definitely a keeper. Full of great tastes. With a lemony aftertaste. Clean, light and absolutely delicious. I used stuffed green olives, sweet onion ( about 2 tbsp), 1/2 a large lime, red vinegar, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 2 tbsp of mayo, a drizzle of olive oil, greek yogurt. green pepper instead of colored, and a couple handfuls of parmesan cheese. Served with Ciabatta fries. It will win your special someone’s heart.

Here’s how to assemble this tasty dish:

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Rotini or Mostaccioli Rigati pasta (~9oz)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • Juice of one small lime (or lemon)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup diced yellow, red bell or green pepper, (1 small)
  • 3/4 cup grated carrots, (2-3 carrots)
  • 1/3 cup minced red onion (substitute yellow or sweet onion if you need to)
  • 1/2-1 cup of grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives (substitute stuffed green olives if you need to)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

Cook your pasta. Get a large stainless or glass bowl to mix everything in. Add all the remaining ingredients except for the tomatoes to bowl. Mix well, folding gently. Add pasta and tomatoes to the mix. Mix thoroughly. You can serve immediately or stick it in the fridge to serve later.

Ciabatta Fries

I thought this one up as a side dish for the pasta salad. Usually my imagination is way better than reality, but this time it worked. It’s hard to stop eating these, so beware.

Ciabatta friesHere’s how to make this simple crunchy side dish:

Ingredients

  • Ciabatta bread
  • 4-10 garlic cloves chopped medium fine
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cover the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil. Simmer chopped garlic in olive oil for about ten minutes on low heat, then add thinly sliced Ciabatta sticks to the mix and toast them on very low heat until they begin to get toasty. Don’t turn your heat up high or you will seriously burn your garlic. I used a Ciabatta bun about 5″ x 5″, cut in two as if using it as a hamburger bun. Then with both halves stacked on each other, I cut them into about 1/4″ wide sticks. Add additional oil as necessary. Stir often and spread evenly on the bottom of the skillet. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve in a single bowl. Pour remainder of oil and garlic on top and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. OMG, they are awesome.

Enjoy!
Cooking with Soules