First a side note: Sorry to spam y’all with two Food Blogger Bake Sale posts in a row, especially email subscribers. I had tried to make that second one a private one for media use, and I couldn’t make it work that way. Anywho, share it with your favorite media/internal comm person!
My personal Facebook friends got a chuckle (or eye roll) at this photo I posted on Facebook earlier this week, Hearts of Palm Sunday Pasta Salad.
I know, hardy har.
I just love pasta salad, and I thought I’d be clever and add hearts of palm for Palm Sunday. Problem is, I’m the only one in the house who will eat those, or the artichoke hearts that were also included. I’m enjoying it for lunch all week, since I use it even for picnics, using different baskets that are perfect for picnics on the weekends.
While this dish was a little silly, it’s a spin on my family-friendlier pasta salad that I make pretty often. These days I have to use gluten-free pasta, and the only one for the job is Le Veneziane penne. (You can order it from Amazon, not me, at the link.) It’s made of corn, as are many gluten-free pastas. But the difference is an emulsifier made of flax seeds, which adds stability and texture that most GF pasta lacks.
Besides, it’s made in Italy, where there is a surprisingly high incidence of celiac disease. You think they’re gonna mess around with crappy pasta, gluten free or otherwise? I think not.
Anyway, here’s the basic recipe. It can be used with or without gluten-free pasta or hearts of palm. 😉 It could be a nice, light addition to your Easter table this Sunday!
Fancy Pants Pasta Salad
- 8 oz. penne pasta
- 1/4 c. roasted red bell pepper, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 c. olives, any type, sliced or halved
- 1/4 c. Italian or Caesar dressing of your choice, or homemade
- 1/4 c. freshly grated parmesan or similar hard Italian cheese
- 1 tsp. dry basil
- 1 tsp. dry parsley
- 1-14 oz. can marinated artichoke hearts, quartered (opt.)
- 1-14 oz. can hearts of palm, sliced if whole (opt.)
- 8 oz. cooked chicken pieces (opt.)
- Kosher or sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Cook the pasta in plenty of salted water until al dente. Drain in a colander and rinse well with cool water to stop the cooking process, but do not completely chill the pasta.
Gently fold all ingredients except the salt and pepper together. The warm pasta will absorb some of the dressing. If you’re not serving it immediately, put it in the fridge for a little while. (It’s fine to serve warm, too.) When you’re ready to eat, test and re-season with salt and pepper to taste.