Sunday, June 16, 2013

Creamy Italian Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is amazing! The dressing is creamy, full of fresh herb flavor and just plain delicious! I used both, organic, semolina, corkscrew pasta that just grabs up all the creamy dressing so nicely, and a bag of organic, ricotta filled ravioli. I love the combination of both pastas, one being stuffed and hearty and the other just a vessel for getting more of that delicious dressing into your mouth! I also add in some interesting vegetables that go great in the salad and have lots of different textures and flavors. I use chewy and sweet sundried tomatoes, crisp, fresh cherry tomatoes, tangy, marinated artichokes and lots of fresh, pungent basil! The combination is absolutely wonderful and goes well with anything. We served ours with pasture raised elk sirloins and homemade Boston baked beans, it was awesome!

This recipe serves up to 8 as a side dish.



1/2lb Organic, semolina, corkscrew pasta, any noodle you like can be substituted.
1 (10oz) Bag Rising Moon Organic ricotta ravioli, any filled pasta can be used.
1 Cup marinated artichoke hearts, drained, chopped, I use Divina.
1 Jar oil packed, organic sundried tomatoes, drained of oil and chopped, I used Mediterranean Organics.
1 Pint organic cherry tomatoes, cut in half.
1 Bunch fresh, organic basil, about 1/2 cup, chopped.


3/4 Cup Hellman's olive oil mayonnaise, Vegenaise also works well.
1/2 Cup red wine vinegar
1/2 Cup extra virgin olive oil (you can also put in some of the oil from your sundried tomatoes)
1 Tbsp water
1/2 tsp sea salt
3 tsp fair trade, organic, raw, cane sugar
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 Tbsp Amore Italian herb paste, click here to find the product or look at my recipe for making your own at the end of the post.*
2 Cloves organic garlic, minced or grated.


Cook both types of pasta according to the package directions. Mix them and the rest of the salad ingredients in a large bowl.

In a small bowl mix all dressing ingredients, whisk till combined and creamy. Pour 1/2 the dressing over the salad and mix to coat. Reserve the remaining dressing.

Refrigerate the salad for at least 2 hours, up to 24 hours, which I think is best for the flavors. Right before serving pour additional dressing over salad as needed, pasta tends to soak up dressing as it sits and gets dry.

Serve all summer with your favorite grilled meats and enjoy!

*If you cannot find the herb paste or you want to make your own, take a cup of your favorite mixed Italian herbs, rosemary, thyme, parsley, basil and oregano. Put them in a blender or food processor and pulse a few times to chop, then slowly drizzle in 1 Tbsp of olive oil and 1 tsp of water and mix till it resembles a pesto. This allows your herbs to mix into your dressing well and get all of their flavor incorporated well.

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