Basil Tomato Pasta Salad

Well, I guess there’s a bright side to being on strike and out of work. I am able to spend more time reading food blogs, trying out new recipes, and creating some summer fresh dishes. I’ve also become quite good friends with Pinterest!

Recently, I organized my boards on Pinterest so that all my posts from this blog and all the posts from my original blog are there as well as a separate board for all the recipes I’ve been collecting from other blogs. I invite you to follow me on Pinterest!

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This salad here is one I found on Soup Addict.  I pinned it to my Recipe board on Pinterest then promptly adapted it to accommodate the ingredients I had on hand at the time and to better fit with my preference for lower fat dressings. The original recipe called for using ramen noodles from a package (throw away the flavour packet), but I changed that to some lovely curly vegie pasta I had in the cupboard. Also, rather than use the called for 2 tbsps. of oil in the dressing, I used only 1 tsp and subbed in an avocado. I also upped the basil content and was able to use some of the beautiful basil we have growing in a pot on our back patio. Just look at it!

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I didn’t have any heirloom tomatoes, but I did have some red and yellow grape tomatoes and the two colours along with the green of the basil worked wonderfully in the salad.

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By the way, something I’ve noticed when reading other food blogs is that I really enjoy posts that have a lot of pictures. So, here we are, six pictures into this post and I haven’t even given you the recipe yet! Is it working for you? I’m not the greatest photographer, but I think my food photography is improving. Anyway, on to the recipe:

Basil Tomato Pasta Salad

2 cups curly pasta (I used about 1/2 of a 340 g package of Eddie’s Organic Vegetable Corkscrews)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51hoPXztRCL._SY300_.jpg)

1 tsp olive oil

10 red grape tomatoes and 10 yellow grape tomatoes, quartered

2 green onions, diced

1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced

handful of fresh basil, finely chopped

Dressing:

zest from one lemon

2 tbsps. fresh lemon juice

2 tbsps. white wine vinegar

1 tsp olive oil

1 tbsp. agave nectar

1/2 to 1 whole avacado

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp. minced basil

Cook the pasta until al dente, drain and rinse with cold water. Toss with 1 tsp olive oil. Add the tomatoes, green onions, yellow pepper and basil to the pasta and toss gently. Mix together all the dressing ingredients in a blender or small food processor or even using an immersion blender. Start with just 1/2 an avocado, taste, then add more avocado if you want the dressing to be thicker. Also, add a bit more salt according to taste. Pour the dressing over the pasta and vegetables, toss and let sit for a bit to allow the pasta to absorb the dressing. Serve at room temperature.

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