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Summer Pasta Salad

I created this pasta salad for my brother Steve’s Independence Day barbecue. I needed to bring a side dish that could sit out safely in the hot sun for several hours, and also fit in well with an American style cookout. An additional benefit is it gave guests a vegan option, and me an excuse to eat lots of cold pasta salad.

The vinegar base in this recipe would pair well with homemade buttermilk fried chicken, or even a store bought rotisserie chicken.

Summer Pasta Salad ( Cold Tomato Zucchini Pasta Salad with Sherry Shallot Vinaigrette )
Sherry Shallot Vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Sherry Vinegar
  • 1 Shallot, chopped
  • 1/ 2 clove Garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • Lots of fresh ground black pepper to taste

Puree the ingredients together in a small processor or blender. Set aside.

Tomato Zucchini Pasta
  • 1 pound riccioli shaped pasta, or any favorite shape
  • 2 medium sized zucchini, or 1 large thinly sliced into half moons
  • 1 cup chopped scallions
  • 3-4 ripe Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 recipe Sherry Shallot Vinaigrette
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. Boil the pasta according to the package directions in heavily salted water. Drain and rinse in cold water.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the Sherry Shallot Vinaigrette.

3. Toss the pasta together in a large bowl with the dressing and the rest of the ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or store covered in the refrigerator until chilled.

Notes: Next time I might throw in some dried or fresh parmesan, and a handful of sliced olives to add another element of flavor. Shredded asiago cheese might also work well.