Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Roasted Tomato Pasta Salad

I have a love/hate relationship with tomatoes. I love local tomatoes in the middle of summer with a drizzle of balsamic. I hate 2,000 miles away tomatoes in the middle of winter. The taste is so different. I can’t get any local tomatoes right now, and I didn’t can or freeze any either. BUT thanks to my lunch at Brasserie a few months ago, I knew just how to incorporate them into a gluten free pasta salad.

ROASTED TOMATOES

pasta salad_up close

Roasted tomatoes are so easy to make, and worth the short wait in the oven. I used plum tomatoes, cut in half and tossed with olive oil and Italian seasoning. Spread onto a baking sheet and broil until they wither. Roasting the tomatoes brings out the sweetness and enhances the natural flavors.

Pasta Salad is one of those dishes that’s pretty hard to ruin, but can be priceless if you get the flavors right. To make this pasta salad, you’ll need:

Simply Organic Italian Salad Dressing Packet

2/3 cup olive oil for the dressing, additional for roasting

2 tbsp. white vinegar for the dressing

1/2 onion, diced and roasted

1 container plum tomatoes, halved and roasted

1 can artichoke hearts, roughly chopped

2 roasted red peppers, roughly chopped

1/2 cup frozen spinach, nuked

One pound Gluten Free pasta of choice – I used DeBole’s Multigrain & Tinkyada Penne

You can also add in as much little chunks of low-fat mozzarella if you want. It marinates in the pasta salad well, and it’s a nice little surprise.

Cook your gluten free pasta as the box directs. Once drained, you can pour the pasta back in the pot on low heat. It helps the moisture evaporate from the noodles. Half the tomatoes and chop the onion; toss in olive oil and Italian seasoning to coat. Spread onto a baking sheet and broil until withered. Prepare the Italian Salad Dressing as directed. You could use any salad dressing you like, but this packet is delicious and easy! In a large bowl, combine the pasta, spinach, red peppers, artichoke hearts, roasted tomatoes and onions, and the dressing. Stir to combine.

pasta salad_full pic

I tasted mine and added a few shakes of balsamic. But you could also add a little lemon juice. I didn’t have any lemons on hand. I can’t wait to have some for lunch tomorrow! That’s the great things about pasta salad, the leftovers are even better!

pasta salad_side view

2 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

Oh yes - SEASONAL tomatoes are the best :-)

Lovely pasta salad!!

Meg said...

I love roasted tomatoes. This would be great to take for work lunches.