Yield: 10-12 servings
1 box of cooked pasta (bow tie, rotini, shells, macaroni, etc.)
1 cucumber (quartered and chopped)
1 pt. of cherry/ grape tomatoes (halved) or 1 can of diced tomatoes (drained)
1 can Cannellini beans (drained & rinsed)
1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese (or parmesan, asiago, havarti, etc.)
1 roasted red bell pepper chopped (or 1 cup of "canned" roasted red pepper/ chopped)
1 clove garlic
1/4 c Grapeseed oil or Olive oil
about 2-3 T. Balsamic vinegar
1 T. sun- dried tomatoes in oil
"handful" fresh parsley
"handful" fresh basil
salt & pepper
1) Cook the pasta according to directions on box. Drain, "shock" in cold water, and place the cooled pasta in a large bowl. Add some grapeseed oil, and toss to coat the pasta, (to prevent sticking together.)
***If roasting the red pepper: You can roast on a gas range over open flame by turning the pepper every 30sec. to 1 min. using metal tongs, (or when skin turns black), can roast on a grill, or in a 425F oven for 15-20 min. Allow to cool, remove skin, stem, seeds, and chop.
2) To the cooled pasta, add: cucumber, tomato, and beans.
3) For the dressing: Add all of the ingredients in a blender, puree, pour over the pasta, and mix together.
Season the salad with some salt and pepper to taste, and mix the cheese in last. Garnish with some fresh basil or parsley leaves. ****Keep covered and refrigerated. Best consumed within 5-7 days of making.