Flexible Pasta Salads

Nov 200comments

Before leaving the Farmers Market last week, Evelyn from Pappardelle Pasta shared two pounds of Garlic Chive shells with me. I promised to highlight the shells two different ways. I selected one recipe because of Thanksgiving leftover possibilities and the second recipe as a refuge from anything with poultry in it after Thanksgiving!

Thanks to the following vendors who shared ingredients with me today:

• Pappardelle Pasta
• Ramirez Produce
• Jerry’s Here Produce
• D & S Produce
• The Lemonade Stand
• Sierra’s Sea Salts

Pasta Salad with Chicken, Fennel, and Feta

(Kitchen Counselor Notes: Substitute leftover turkey if you want. If you serve cheese, grate or crumble leftovers and replace feta. Leftover crudités, throw them in the salad.)

Serves 4 / Orecchiette translates to “little ears,” describing the cupped shape of these pasta disks. If you’re unable to find Italian orecchiette, elbow macaroni works just fine. Precooked rotisserie chicken cuts down on prep time. Chopped black olives make a nice garnish.

8 ounces regular or whole-wheat orecchiette or elbow macaroni – I used Garlic Chive shells.
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar – I used red wine vinegar.
1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt – I used Himalayan salt and sun dried tomato salt.
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved – I used regular tomatoes.
¾ cup cored, thinly sliced fennel bulb (about 1 small bulb)
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced – whoops, I forgot!
1 cup cooked, skinless, diced chicken breast
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley – I used dry parsley.
1/3 heaping cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta

1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain, rinse with cool water, and then drain again. Set aside.
2. Whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, garlic, olive oil, pepper, and salt. Toss with pasta. Add tomatoes, fennel, cucumber, and chicken; toss. (May be made 2 hours ahead.) Stir in parsley and feta just before serving.

Tuna Pasta Salad

6 oz. Vegetable Shells – I used Garlic Chive Shells.
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup yellow or green pepper strips – I used red and orange.
1/2 cup sliced ripe olives – I used unstuffed, pitted, manzanilla olives.
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 carrot, shredded
2 (5 oz.) cans Tuna – I used a combination of Alabacore white and chunk light.
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons white vinegar – I used red wine vinegar.
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt – I used Himalayan.
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 green onion, cut into 1″ pieces
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder – omitted.
Lettuce leaves – omitted.

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Rinse with cold water; drain. Combine pasta with 1/2 cup green onions, pepper strips, olives, tomatoes, carrots and tuna. Set aside.

Combine olive oil with remaining ingredients, except lettuce leaves. Put in an electric blender and process until smooth. (I did not have electricity, so, I combined dressing ingredients and stirred well.) Pour over salad mixture and toss lightly. Cover and chill at least 8 hours before serving, stirring occasionally. To serve, spoon over lettuce leaves using a slotted spoon.
Makes 8 cups. Serving size 1/2 cup.

Pictures on FB.

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