This recipe is one of the favorites I have found recently. In the past, whenever I was asked to bring a pasta salad to a gathering, I would just cut up some tomatoes and cucumber, add it to pasta, and pour bottled Italian dressing over it because I didn’t know what else to do. But I was never really satisfied with the results. It was kind of bland and boring. This pasta salad is the opposite of that. The dressing is so flavorful, and the ingredients are a unique combination that I never would have thought of putting in a pasta salad, but compliment each other very well.
I think the dressing is so good because it contains fresh garlic and lots of parmesan cheese. And the sun-dried tomatoes add little bursts of flavor every time you take a bite. One thing I would recommend is adding only half of the dressing at first, let the pasta sit overnight in the refrigerator, and then right before serving, stir in the rest of the dressing. The first batch of dressing soaks in, adding all of its garlicky goodness to the noodles, and then adding the second half later, gives it the creaminess you want in a pasta salad.
If you are hosting or attending a 4th of July event, this pasta salad would be a great dish to prepare. And with the hot weather, it would make a good main dish supper if you added some chicken. I am just so glad to have an excuse to make pasta salad, whatever the reason. Celebrating Independence Day is one of my favorite times of the year. It is so simple, and usually involves friends, and/or family, and food, and ends with fireworks. Even in a big city, when you are sitting next to so many other people at the nearest fireworks display, it always has the feeling of a small town event. What more could you want in a holiday!
ROASTED ASPARAGUS AND SUN DRIED TOMATO PASTA SALAD
For the Salad:
1/2 pound fusilli pasta, cooked according to package directions,and drained
- 1 bunch of asparagus, cleaned and dried
- 2 to 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 (10 oz.) bag of frozen corn, prepared according to package directions, and drained
- 1 jar of sun-dried tomatoes, drained
- While pasta is cooking, cut asparagus into 1 inch pieces. Place on a cookie sheet, and pour olive oil over the asparagus. Stir to coat asparagus pieces with oil. Spread the pieces out on the cookie sheet in a single layer.
- Bake asparagus in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes until crisp tender.
- When pasta is cooked and drained, and corn and asparagus are done cooking, pour all into a large bowl.
- Cut the drained, sun-dried tomatoes into halves or quarters, whichever you prefer. Place tomatoes in bowl with pasta.
- In a separate bowl, make the dressing according to directions below.
For the Dressing:
- 3/4 c mayonnaise
- 3/4 c sour cream
- 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 3/4 tsp. fresh garlic, minced
- 2 1/4 c Kraft parmesan cheese
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- In a medium size bowl, stir together mayonnaise, sour cream, and garlic until mixed well.
- Stir in lemon juice and salt.
- Add parmesan cheese and mix well.
- Pour half of dressing over pasta salad, and stir to coat dressing evenly over all the ingredients. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight. Cover and save the remaining dressing in the refrigerator.
- Just before serving, toss the pasta salad with the remaining dressing. Serve immediately. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Recipe found on page 79 in the June 2011 issue of Food Network Magazine.