Friday, August 05, 2016

Creamy Balsamic Corn and Sun Dried Tomato Pasta Salad

I am a sucker for pasta salads during the summer. I have a few favorites like, my Veggie Overload Pasta Salad and my Mandarin Orange and Spinach Pasta Salad {with Teriyaki Dressing}. This version is loaded up with fresh-from-the-garden sweet corn, chopped sun dried tomatoes, a variety of other fresh vegetables and some fun, twirl-y pasta. And, although those components are all fabulous in their own rights, it's really the creamy dressing that makes this pasta salad swoon worthy. A hint of fresh garlic, a little oil, a few spices, some dashes of a good-quality balsamic vinegar and creamy mayonnaise get whisked up together to create what I consider the ultimate pasta salad dressing.


Of course, you can choose to switch up the veggies that you use, but this recipe calls for a combination that I find works great together. The sweetness and pop of the fresh corn compliments the chewy, flavor-packed sun dried tomatoes. The cucumber lends a cool, refreshing component to the salad while the radish brings a slight peppery "bite" to the party. And, a subtle onion flavor is present by way of the scallions.

I've chosen an Italian Trottole pasta (such a neat shape), but any small or medium size pasta works here. Just be sure not to overcook the pasta ... you certainly don't want mushy noodles in this fabulous summertime side dish.


Ingredients:

FOR THE SALAD -

10 ounces small-to-medium size pasta (see last paragraph above)
2 - 3 ears fresh corn, cooked until tender and kernels cut off of the cob
5 - 6 large radishes, trimmed and cut into half moons
1/2 seedless cucumber, cut into half moons
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 heaping cup chopped sun dried tomatoes

FOR THE DRESSING -

5 tablespoons good-quality olive oil
3 tablespoons neutral oil (canola or vegetable)
2 tablespoons good-quality balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
3/4 cup real mayonnaise

Directions:

Prepare pasta according to package directions in boiling, salted water.

While pasta is cooking, whisk together the oils and vinegar in a medium mixing bowl until blended. Whisk in garlic, sugar, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and parsley. Once combined and sugar is dissolved, whisk in mayonnaise. (Dressing will be thick.) Set aside.

Once pasta is cooked, strain and rinse in very cold water until pasta is fully cooled. Allow water to fully drain from noodles. Transfer pasta to a large serving bowl. Add corn, radishes, cucumbers, onions and tomatoes.


Stir to combine. Pour dressing over salad. Stir gently to coat.


Serve immediately or store in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Best served with grated Parmesan cheese as garnish.


Update: 08/07/16: Corrected amount of pasta from sixteen to ten ounces.

4 comments :

  1. This sounds wonderfully refreshing! Pinned it :)

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  2. This looks amazing - pinned this one along with the Veggie Overload Salad. How great would either be next to a grilled rib-eye? Nom-nom!

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    Replies
    1. Yum! Sounds like a great summer meal. The dressings for the two salads are very similar, so you can't go wrong. It's just a question of what you prefer in your pasta salad. Happy eating.

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