Summer Pasta Salad


I've been on a summer salad kick recently (see here, here, and here). Maybe it's the dwindling days of the season that are inspiring me to eat all of the delicious foods traditionally associated with summer. It's gotten a bit cooler in NYC this week and it feels like a bit of a relief, but it also makes me so sad! These salads have me feelin' like we still have some summer days left, and since they are so easy to make and delicious, who knows - maybe they will become staples all year long!


For this pasta salad I used a chimichurri marinade that I had leftover in my fridge from when I made cauliflower steaks. It's basically a mixture of olive oil, fresh parsley and cilantro, chopped garlic, and red wine vinegar processed in a food processor. If you can't find this chimichurri marinade in the store you can always improvise and make your own or use italian dressing. I add an extra drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice to my dressing to give it an extra zing of flavor; I found that it gave it more body. Feel free to also experiment with adding garlic and onion powders or other flavors that appeal to you. Enjoy!


Ingredients
1 pound pasta (I used Rotini)
1 can black olives, pitted & halved
1 - 6oz jar marinated artichokes, roughly chopped
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 carrot, peel and diced
3 scallions, sliced thinly
3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup Chimichurri marinade (or recipe here)
S & P
crushed red pepper
Drizzle olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon


Instructions
Cook pasta as instructed on the box. Rinse with cool water and drain completely. Meanwhile, prep black olives, artichokes, red pepper, grape tomatoes, carrot, scallions and parsley. In a measuring cup, combine chimichurri sauce, salt and pepper, crushed red pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice. Add pasta and prepped veggies to a large mixing bowl and drizzle with dressing mixture. Mix thoroughly until everything is lightly coated with dressing. If too dry, add a touch more marinade, drizzle of olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon juice (a little goes a long way!). Cover and let sit for two hours in the refrigerator to marinate.

Serves 6

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