Mediterranean Pasta Salad

June 24, 2009

My Aunt Dolores always makes this wonderful pasta salad for her barbecues and I'm adding it to my repertoire this summer as well. It doesn't really have a name, so I'll call it Mediterranean Pasta Salad, as it contains a lot of the yummy goodness from that region: Kalamata olives, Roma tomatoes, fresh basil, Balsamic vinegar... It's slightly different each time, depending on what ingredients you happen to have around. The shape of the pasta can change too, though it's best to use a variety that can "hold" the dressing otherwise it will dry out too quickly.

In this case, I happened to have some nice broccoli flourets on hand, some lovely ripe tomatoes, fresh tarragon, and a beautiful red onion. For the dressing, mix in a bit of aioli (mayonnaise can be used) to coat but not drench the noodles. This will give it a nice creaminess. Then add Balsamic vinegar, some sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, and mix well. Adjust to your personal tastes: if you want it creamier, add more aioli; richer, add more Balsamic. Toss in a bit of extra virgin olive oil before serving for added flavor.

Aioli on Foodista