What with Bar B Q season upon us, we always need to come up with new things to make or bring. Chances are that over the summer you essentially keep seeing the same ten people in different combinations and locations, so you need to keep straight what you brought to which party so you don’t become THAT person who ALWAYS brings the same thing every time!!
So here’s a dish you can add to your repertoire.
Start by boiling up a pot of the pasta of your choice. But keep it in the short variety family, rotini, macaroni, fussili, rigatoni etc.
I happened to find something called “Scoobie Doos“! They are a funky twisted, ribbed macaroni and seem to work perfectly for this kind of dish.
Now if you read my stuff regularly you know I am a great fan of “what ever you have” for most dishes, so I’m just letting you know what I used on this particular occasion, but please feel free to add, omit or substitute.
- 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes ( finely chopped)
- 6 -10 kalamata olives ( pitted and chopped)
- 1/2 small bulb of fennel ( finely sliced)
- zest of 1 lemon
Mix all of that up at the bottom of a large mixing bowl.
Then for the “dressing” chop up in a mini chopper or food processor:
- 2 -3 ( or more depending on relationship with guests) cloves fresh garlic
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
- 2 pieces of kale ( leafy bits only) – you KNOW how I love to hide kale in things!
- juice of one lemon
- fresh herbs if you have them, oregano, basil, parsley
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- salt & pepper
Whiz this up to a nice paste, add a bit more olive oil if needed.
Add this to the bottom of the mixing bowl and mix well in with the other elements.
When pasta is cooked, drain and add immediately to the mixing bowl and toss. The heat from the pasta with loosen up the other stuff and help it stick to the pasta.
Mix REALLY well because you don’t want globs of the “dressing” stuck at the bottom.
I like to make this at least a couple of hours ahead so all the flavours have time to get acquainted before serving.
Just before you are leaving for the party, or serving at your own place, transfer everything to a more decorative or service friendly dish. And then top with:
- a good squeeze of lemon juice
- some more lemon zest
- basil leaves
- chopped fennel fronds ( green feathery stuff on top of fennel)
- a grind or two of fresh pepper
And you are in business!