Pasta salad is one of my very favorite Summer foods. It’s so convenient to have a batch chilling (literally) in the fridge, ready and waiting to be devoured in a hangry moment when one plans too many errands and doesn’t make time to stop for lunch.
Not that I know anything about that…
This salad is inspired by something I saw recently at the deli counter in my grocery store. It looked delicious but I also knew I could probably create something similar and equally delicious, if not more so, in my kitchen. The grocery store version used what looked like spinach but I really like the use of kale in this one because it gets nice and soft while it soaks up the dressing. Anything to make kale more palatable, am I right?
This made some lovely lunches for me and I think it would be great to take to a potluck or picnic also. Get to it!
Italian Pasta Salad
- 3 cups dry rigatoni
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 small head kale, torn into small pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp. pesto
- 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 8 mini mozzarella balls (bocconcini), cut in half
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- Salt & pepper to taste
Put your pasta on to boil and cook to al dente.
While the pasta boils, heat 1 tsp. of the olive oil in a skillet and sauté the kale and red pepper until starting to get tender. Stir in the minced garlic at the last minute or so and stir with the vegetables until fragrant. Remove veggies from heat.
Drain the cooked pasta and rinse with cold water.
Stir together the cooled pasta and veggies along with the remaining oil, pesto and red wine vinegar. Toss to coat. Stir in the cheeses. Taste and season with salt and pepper if desired. Chill until ready to serve.