Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Fresh Basil

Featured in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on December 19, 2012.

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Ingredients:

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Fresh Basil

  • 1 pound penne or bowtie pasta, cooked al dente according to package directions
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
  • 1 cup black olives, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup fresh Italian basil, julienne sliced
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 1 cup balsamic vinaigrette (see recipe below)

Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (1-2 lemons)
  • 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

Directions:

Pasta Salad:
In a large bowl, add pasta and olive oil; gently toss to coat. Add pepper, onion, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, capers, garbanzo beans, basil, and feta cheese. Add vinaigrette and toss. Makes 10 servings.

Approximate Nutrient Analysis per serving:
400 calories, 19 g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, greater than 500 mg sodium, 48 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 10 g protein

Balsamic Vinaigrette:
Add all ingredients in a container with a lid. Shake well. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

Approximate Nutrient Analysis per 2 Tablespoon serving:
150 calories, 16 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 200 mg sodium, 2 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 0 g protein

Note: This salad is best when it can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated to allow the flavors to incorporate.

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