Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Mediterranean inspired pasta salad (warm)
Monday night is often pasta night in this house. I have two in sports and one in occupational therapy. We come home at different times and everyone is always starving the minute they enter through the mudroom. On Mondays I try to prepare dishes that can be enjoyed hot as well as at room temperature.
I often refer to myself as the stove-top scientist as I never really know what I am going to prepare and how it's going to turn out. I may know that we'll have pasta, but I won't know what kind of pasta until I am in the middle of cooking it. Often, just after I have dumped the pasta in to the boiling water I'll sift through the ingredients in my fridge and pantry and see what tastes good together. This is exactly what I did last night.
With the pasta cooking away I grabbed the basil, goat cheese and and olives from my refrigerator. From the pantry I retrieved artichoke hearts and cannellini beans.
I drained and rinsed the beans and the artichoke hearts (which I chopped up) and sauteed them in a little bit of olive oil with some sea salt. I cooked them until they started to brown. And then I added the olives.
When the pasta was ready I drained it and returned it to the pot adding in the beans, artichoke hearts and olives. I made a Greek vinaigrette using 3 parts oil to one part vinegar and some oregano which I poured over the pasta. I tossed in the goat cheese which melted in to the hot mixture giving it a cream-like consistency. At the end I julienned some fresh basil and tossed it in.
If desired you can crumble and brown some sausage to sprinkle in if you feel you need a little meat in this dish.
2 cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans of artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed and chopped
1/2 cup sliced, chopped or diced kalamata olives
1/2 cup of goat cheese, or more to taste
1 cup of fresh, julienned basil
For the dressing
1/3 cup of red wine vinegar
2/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil, plus more to coat the pan
1 heaping tsp of oregano
sea salt to taste
Pour ingredients in to a jar and shake well and pour over pasta.
This dish is simple and easy to make. If you do not eat this immediately, you may want to drizzle a little extra olive oil over the pasta to replace any that had been absorbed. This is great as a meal or as a side dish