Monday, August 5, 2013

Pasta Salad with Asparagus, Feta and Tomatoes

The other night I needed a fast side dish to go with our leftover meatloaf.

I had a random assortment of things in the fridge/pantry, and I threw them together for this pasta salad.

It was a hit with everyone!  My girls loved it, my husband loved it, and Baby Bear scarfed it down.

I had pesto in my freezer...always a good idea.

I had pasta in the I always do.  I wanted to use orzo, but I didn't have I used this ditalini.  I liked it.  But Israeli couscous would also be great (just don't use regular couscous; it's too small).

I thought grape tomatoes would add great freshness and color.

And this asparagus was perfect.  I cut it small, about the same size as the pasta.

And what could be wrong with feta cheese???

I mixed the pasta and asparagus with the dressing while the pasta was still warm so that it really soaked up the was so creamy and delicious.  It was great warm and room temperature.

I had it the next day for lunch and it was delicious cold as well!

I mean, you can't go wrong.

Are you picking up what I'm putting down?

Good.  Then go make some pasta salad because it's already AUGUST and I don't want summer to be over -- EVER!

Pasta Salad with Asparagus, Feta and Tomatoes

2 cups (about 8 oz.) dry short-cut pasta (I used ditalini; orzo or Israeli (pearl) couscous would also be good)
1 bunch asparagus, woody ends trimmed off and then chopped into small pieces
8-10 oz. grape tomatoes, sliced in half or thirds
4-6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled

Creamy Lemon Pesto Dressing:
3/4 cup pesto
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Juice of 1 lemon

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water.  Add the asparagus for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking time.  Drain the pasta and asparagus in a colander.

In a large bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing.  Add the pasta and asparagus (while it's still hot) and toss to combine.  Stir in the grape tomatoes.  Add the feta cheese on top (you can stir it in, but you won't see it in the green dressing if you stir it up).  Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled.

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