Pasta Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Pasta Salad with Basil Vinaigrette
  • Yield: 10 servings
  • Ease of cooking: Easy
    Method of cooking: Toasting
  • Prep time: 25 minutes
    Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1½ pounds tricolor spiral pasta
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 2 cups oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 8 ounces sharp white Cheddar, diced into 1-inch pieces
  • One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 English cucumber, sliced
  • 1½ cups Basil Vinaigrette, recipe follows
  • Basil Vinaigrette:
  • ⅓ cup Champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  3. Spread the pine nuts in an even layer on a small baking sheet. Transfer to the oven, and toast until golden and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the drained pasta, toasted pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes olives, Cheddar, chickpeas, cucumbers, and basil vinaigrette. Toss well. Serve cold.
    Basil Vinaigrette:
  1. Add the vinegar, honey, mustard, shallots, basil and some salt and pepper to a blender. Blend until well combined. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil; blend until fully combined.
Recipe courtesy of Nancy Fuller