The colorful gigli (campanella or riccioli) pasta with a burst of fresh vegetables and a light dressing makes this a delicious pasta salad, especially when prepared ahead and served cold on a warm summer evening.
We had some vegetables from the home garden - purple bush beans, green beans, onions, tomatoes. Use any favorite vegetable combination for the pasta salad.
Pan roast the squash and onions; mildly saute the carrots, bell peppers, green and purple bush beans; or leave them raw, no need to saute... I prefer almost 2:1 ratio of vegetables:pasta in my pasta salad.
The dressing is rather quick and easy if pesto is handy. I had some home-made Mint and Fennel Pesto as mint and fennel are overgrown in the garden. Or, any favorite store-bought pesto can be used.
2 cups cooked tricolor gigli pasta
1 medium summer squash, cut into chunks
1 medium Walla Walla sweet onions, sliced
1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced or chopped
1 or 2 carrot, cut into discs
as many purple and green beans as preferred
½ cup cooked Mayo Coba beans (optional)
2 Tbsp capers
2 Tbsp sun-dried tomatoes
1 to 2 Tbsp oil for pan roasting
3 to 4 Tbsp Mint-and-Fennel pesto
2 Tbsp beaten non-fat yogurt (or sour cream)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
½ tsp ground smoked paprika
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp Pomegranate red wine vinegar
1 tsp Samabl Oelek (or any hot sauce or chili paste)
salt to taste
garnish: fresh herbs - I used rosemary, oregano and fennel from my garden
- Cook the gigli pasta per package instructions to al dente. Drain, rinse and keep handy.
- Pan roast the vegetables (or use them raw if preferred), allow to cool
- Combine the dressing ingredients, all but pesto, and beat to a smooth thick consistency; taste and adjust flavors
- Toss the vegetables and pasta together at room temperature, add pesto and just enough of the dressing to lightly coat the salad, reserve some dressing in the fridge if preferred to serve on the side
- Chill the pasta salad in the fridge for an hour or up to a day
- Garnish and serve cold