Cold Pasta dishes are wonderful for summer and all buffet displays. And the best part is, beside for boiling the pasta, this cold pasta dish doesn’t require any cooking. If you are watching your starch intake, or if you are simply, as I always am, looking for better grains, this is your chance to experiment with soba or rice noodles: Respectively low-gluten and gluten-free and prepared in a snap, they will do the job with flying colors!
For this cold pasta dish, you have a wide choice of pasta, but please don’t select a tubular pasta; in other words, no ziti, no bucatini, or other pasta with holes running through their centers. The only time we want tubular pasta is when we have a not-too-rich pasta sauce, such as tomato or vegetable sauce.
Although this cold pasta dish is delicious as is, frozen artichokes hearts or bottoms would be a great addition, at no extra labor cost (just let them thaw!), and would be a good chance to sneak in the delicious, nutritious and low-calorie artichoke, which is still so underrated in America.
- 1 pound pasta (farfalle, fusilli or other non-tubular pasta), boiled until just tender, 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid reserved (rice or soba noodles great too)
- 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Optional: 1 14-ounce bag frozen artichoke bottoms, thawed, diced
- 8 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large bunch basil, leaves only, sliced thin
- 2 cups sun-dried tomatoes, briefly soaked, squeezed dry and thinly sliced
- 3 roasted red peppers, bottled OK, sliced thin
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (don't add any salt until you taste the finished dish: You might not need any salt, as you have several salty ingredients in the dish: Sun-Dried tomatoes, capers, olives)
- 1/4 cup tiny capers
- 1 cup oil-cured olives, or pitted nicoise olives, pitted and halved
Toss all ingredients together thoroughly. Serve at room temperature.