If you bring up the topic of pasta salad with anyone in my family, I guarantee they will start to laugh. Why? Because I once had an infamous collision with an extra-large batch of the stuff, right before we were about to take it to a Fourth of July picnic.
I was about five years old , and I guess I lost control of one of my limbs (not an uncommon occurrence), which brought the pasta salad crashing to the floor. I remember screaming, “DON’T TELL MOM!!!” as my sister Lea laughed hysterically and I tried to scoop the dog hair-covered pasta back into the bowl.
Ah, fond memories.
Anyway, despite that experience, I still really love my mom’s pasta salad recipe. Her recipe included a few ingredients that I like to avoid (e.g., white pasta), so I decided to put a little Caroline-twist on the original. And by that, I don’t mean adding dog hair.
Whole Wheat Pasta Salad with Homemade Italian Dressing
Makes 4 entree-sized portions
For the Salad:
- 4 oz dry whole wheat elbow pasta
- 1 15-ounce can no-salt-added chickpeas
- 2 small carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 medium bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 medium cucumber, chopped
- 1 small tomato, chopped
- 2 ounces light sharp cheddar (such as Cabot)
For the Dressing:
- 2-1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon water
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1. Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil; cook pasta according to package directions. The brand I used required about 7 minutes to cook.
2. Meanwhile, chop veggies and assemble the dressing. Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl, and set aside.
3. Once pasta has cooked, drain and cool with ice cubes.
4. Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl, then add dressing and stir to coat. Chill for 1-2 hours prior to serving.
Nutrition per 1/4 recipe (~240 grams): 304 Calories, 9.9g fat, 1.7g saturated fat, 5mg cholesterol, 321mg sodium, 45.0g carbohydrate, 8.2g fiber, 3.2g sugars, 13.4g protein
Have you ever re-invented one of your favorite family recipes?
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