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Balsamic and Basil Pasta Salad

Balsamic and Basil Pasta Salad
Balsamic and Basil Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is built to impress. I’ve made this dairy-free dish for countless potlucks and it’s a hit time after time. The secret is the fragrant, balsamic basil dressing that highlights the assortment of roasted vegetables. Once you’ve tried it here, enjoy the aromatic dressing on tomatoes and grilled eggplant. The other beauty of this pasta salad is that it only gets better with time. Make it in the morning and serve it at room temperature in the afternoon as a hearty side salad or main dish.

Serves6

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup (195 g) yellow squash, sliced into half moons
  • 1 1/2 cup (185 g) zucchini, sliced into half moons
  • 1 cup (80 g) eggplant, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup (150 g) red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound (455 g) whole-wheat orecchiette pasta (or penne or shells)
  •  
  • Balsamic Dressing
  • 1/2 cup (10 g) fresh basil, minced, packed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons and 1 tsp (64 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF (204ºC).

  2. Toss the squash, zucchini, eggplant and red bell pepper with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil and a large pinch each of salt and pepper. Place in a glass baking dish and roast for 35–40 minutes until tender.

  3. While the vegetables are roasting, cook the pasta. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling and add the pasta. Cook until al dente. Remove and toss with water to stop the cooking and prevent the noodles from sticking together. Drain completely.

  4. Make the dressing. Whisk together the garlic, basil, balsamic and olive oil. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Remove the vegetables from the oven and let cool until warm but not piping hot.

  5. Toss together the vegetables, pasta and dressing. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if needed. Enjoy as is or at room temperature.

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