Posted by: Kath Usitalo | August 26, 2011

Recipe File: Potluck Pasta

Peppers for the pasta salad

We have a great bunch of neighbors on our little cul-de-sac street, a mix of long-time residents who were here when we moved in about a quarter century ago (!), couples with young kids, and a bunch of folks in-between. Someone just bought the house next door to us and we’re looking forward to meeting him/her/them.

This weekend is our block’s third annual Pig Roast, conceived and coordinated by some of the younger folks. They’ll be up at 5 a.m. Saturday to start cooking the main course. We each bring a dish; I think I’ll make this orzo salad. I picked up the recipe years ago at Nino Salvaggio, a great produce and food marketplace in our area. The rice-sized pasta and chopped veggies means it’s easy to eat, the dressing has no mayo so you don’t have to worry about refrigeration, there are no exotic ingredients, and it makes a sizeable amount—perfect for a potluck.

Plus, you can play with it. Use a mix of whatever peppers you have on hand, substitute black for kidney beans if you like, or add other chopped veggies. If I’m fresh out of Garlic Expressions (a tasty Great Lakes product made in Perrysburg, Ohio) I doctor a mild Italian dressing or vinaigrette with lots of minced garlic.

Orzo Pasta Salad
Recipe from Nino Salvaggio

1/2 medium red onion
1 cup red pepper
1 cup yellow pepper
1 cup orange pepper
1 cup green pepper

2 cups raw orzo pasta (1- 16 oz. package)
1 – 12 oz. bottle of Garlic Expressions
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 tsp. sea salt
1 – 19 oz. can kidney beans
1 – 19 oz. can garbanzo beans

Dice onion and peppers. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse beans. Mix all ingredients together; best when chilled several hours. Serve cold or at room temperature.




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