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Perfect Picnic Pasta Salad
Staying outside for long periods often means transporting food for the day. This is a very easy recipe, one you can prepare the day before and assemble the morning of your travel plans. It is great for picnics, tailgate functions and home parties as well as just good eating.
Use what ever type of vinaigrette you desire according to other foods served but for my money, you can't beat the Chianti Vinaigrette.
My No-fuss Pasta Salad
12 oz package farfalle (bow-tie) or other medium pasta cooked al dente in salted water, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup of your favorite vinaigrette or Chianti Vinaigrette (see below)
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
3 sliced firm plum tomatoes, optional
1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms, optional
2 oz thinly sliced and chopped prosciutto or salami
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/3 cup freshly shredded semi-firm cheese like fresh Asiago, Bel Paese, Caciocavallo, Colby, Idiazabal, Jack or Provolone
Toss cold pasta with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette dressing. Transfer half of pasta to a storage container. Layer peas, tomatoes, mushrooms, and prosciutto on top of pasta. Top with remaining pasta. Sprinkle with basil and pour remaining dressing over salad. Chill until ready to serve. Sprinkle salad with the cheese and toss right before serving.
Note: For traveling, I like to add the dressing only a few hours before serving and the cheese when plating.
Chianti Vinaigrettemakes 1 1/4 cups
1/4 cup sherry wine vinegar
1/4 cup Chianti wine
2 teaspoons Italian seasonings
1/2 cup extra-light olive oil
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Mix the vinegar, wine and seasonings together in a bowl. Quickly whisk in the oils. Store in a bottle or jar with tight fitting lid.
Always emulsify the oil with the other ingredients before using by shaking vigorously.