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Pantry Pasta Salad


From "Cook the Pantry" by Robin Robertson

This is a fine dish to take to a potluck! It is simple to make and uses ingredients you're likely to have on hand. You can easily make a larger amount or substitute different beans, pasta, etc., without fear of ruining the recipe. It can be made at any season and, because it's served at room temperature, can be made ahead of time without reheating. Furthermore, it is tasty and looks nice on a table full of many different foods.


230 g 8 ounces bite-sized pasta of choice
1 (15.5-ounce) can cannellini beans or chickpeas, or 1 pound of cooked beans
1 (6-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1 6-ounce) jar roasted red bell peppers
120 ml1/2 cup thawed frozen baby peas
79 ml1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
3 sun-dried tomatoes (oil-packed or reconstituted dried), chopped
10 ml2 teaspoons capers, drained
44 ml3 tablespoons olive oil
30 ml2 tablespoons lemon juice
5 ml1 teaspoon agave nectar
1 garlic clove, pressed
5 ml1 teaspoon dried basil
2 ml1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and ground black pepper

Optional items: halved cherry or grape tomatoes, minced red onion, chopped scallions, chopped celery, grated carrot, leftover cooked or steamed veggies such as broccoli or green beans, chopped fresh parsley or basil


1. Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling salted water until it is al dente. Drain and run under cold water, then drain again and transfer to a large bowl. Add the beans, artichokes, bell peppers, peas, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and capers. Toss gently to combine and set aside.

2. Make the dressing: In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, agave, garlic, basil, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well to break up and distribute the garlic. Pour the dressing over the pasta salad. Add any optional items and toss to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed.

Makes 4 servings


Too bad I didn't have rice pasta on hand, because i'm making this for a NWVeg potluck--probably people would appreciate it if the salad were gluten free. Otherwise, it looks good!