Prepare yourself because I'm about to brag again. The big guy cooked up a mess a' ribs last night for dinner and my only task of the day was to make a salad to go along with them. Tough job eh? Actually, it isn't easy to make something that will stand up to his pork spareribs because he does an incredibly fine job of cooking the tender, moist, flavorful little morsels.
I chose to make a pasta salad and while there's a multitude of different ways to make a one, this particular version happens to be perfect for a warm climate because there's not a smidge of mayo anywhere in it. That means there's no need to worry overly about enduring a visit from Uncle Sam and Aunt Ella (salmonella). Dressed with a lovely green olivada, an Italian olive spread flavored with capers, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and anchovy paste, it coated our tri colored rotelle pasta with an explosion of flavor. Along with the addition of fresh mozzarella balls and cherry tomatoes, the salad is substantial enough to be served on it's own too.
The big guy liked it a lot and while I loved the idea of it, I put more than the required teaspoon of anchovy paste into the darn thing thinking more of a good thing would make the salad better. It didn't...so if school's out on anchovies in your opinion, leave them out OK?
Pasta Salad with Green Olivada (adapted from Bon Appetit)
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 – 12 ounce jar small pitted green olives (drained & divided)
3 tablespoons capers, drained
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspo0on anchovy paste
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Using a food processor, with the motor running drop garlic in and chop finely. Turn off machine and add 1 cup olives, capers, red wine vinegar, anchovy past, Dijon and red pepper flakes. Pulse 6 times to chop coarsely. With machine running add olive oil slowly to form a coarse puree. Season with black pepper (watch the salt because both olives and anchovies are salty). Stir in remaining olives. Set aside.
1 pound rotelle, fusilli, or gemelli pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh chopped oregano
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes cut in half
1 – 8 ounce package small fresh mozzarella balls, drained
Cook pasta according to package directions until tender but firm. Drain and place in large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Cool. Add olivada, tomatoes, mozzarella and oregano and toss well. Season with additional salt and pepper as required. Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature. Makes 8 servings. Download Pasta Salad with Green Olivada