Zesty Whole Wheat Pasta Salad

Bansko collage

While I am loving all the amazing Thai food we have been enjoying, I miss cooking (it seems there is just no pleasing me!). The thing that I am most homesick for is my kitchen and all the fun gadgets in it. I miss everything that comes with preparing a meal from the chopping of veggies to the connections that come with feeding family and friends. I miss the people who sat around my table laughing and talking, often for hours longer than we realized over a good meal. I miss the way a dish evolves as it is prepared. It starts as different, often seemingly unconnected ingredients which, when chopped, stirred, mixed, baked, sautéed or otherwise combined take on a whole new life as something completely new all the while delighting the senses in the process.

So, wonderful news! We will be heading to Cambodia next week where we will have a kitchen! I have no idea what to expect from that kitchen, but I am excited nonetheless! In the meantime, here is a throwback recipe from our kitchen time in Bansko, Bulgaria. We packed a lunch and went hiking one afternoon at the base of the Pirin mountains. The top of the mountains had a dusting of snow but the bottom part of the mountain was still snow free and open for hiking! We stopped for lunch near the river where we enjoyed this zingy, whole wheat pasta salad and grilled cheese with creamy white bean & garlic spread- yum! The pasta salad was zesty, full of crisp vegetables and the pasta was tender, flavorful and saucy. The roasted vegetables imparted a flavorful, warming flavor to the crunch of the onions and bell peppers and the super simple, flavorful dressing made this pasta salad perfection! It is a great option for refueling after a hike, snowshoeing or skiing or a hearty lunch or quick dinner option.

Zesty Whole Wheat Pasta Saladimage

Zesty Whole Wheat Pasta Salad
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A healthy, hearty and flavorful pasta salad
Ingredients
  • 1 12oz package Whole Wheat Pasta
  • ¼ cup White Wine
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno, chopped
  • ¼ cup Parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup Cauliflower or Broccoli florets, chopped (try them roasted!)
  • 1 tsp Basil
  • ½ tsp Thyme
  • ½ tsp Savory
  • Juice of 1 Lime
Instructions
  1. Bring water to a boil in a large pot and add pasta. Allow pasta to cook until al dente, about 9-10 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the veggies and combine onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, parsley, cauliflower and lime juice. Mix well.
  2. When pasta is done, drain, reserving ¼ cup cooking water. Using the same pot, bring pasta water to a boil and reduce by half, add white wine and oil. Continue to reduce until you only have about ¼ cup total, add the chopped garlic and spices. Turn off the heat. Add the cooked pasta to the pot. Toss the pasta in the liquid until it is fully absorbed.
  3. Allow pasta to cool until just warm and no longer hot. Toss with the vegetables and season with a bit of salt and pepper. While this pasta is good warm, it is really good after a few hours in the fridge when the flavors have had a chance to combine.
  4. Note:
  5. ** To prevent the onions from taking over and making the pasta salad too oniony, rinse the chopped onions in very hot water. They keep their flavor, but don't take over!
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