This is my gratuitous la la land post. All fashion, no function. All style, no substance. Ridiculously good looking, though it probably would not go well with an Orange Mocha Frappuccino.
It's a nice picture of a pasta salad, if I do say so myself. Technically, it is in focus, and well-lit. The content itself is colorful, balanced, and sparkles. It certainly gives me this feeling of "fresh" and "summer." To some extent, I also think "sexy" because of the deep, dark red of the sun-dried tomatoes and the way the ingredients are glistening and tumbling all over each other. It looks good. It looks so faaaabulous, dahling, I just want to *airkisskiss* it on either side.
Unfortunately, there is nothing inherently interesting about pasta salad. It is pasta. It is vegetables. It is "dressing" - sometimes a tart, tangy vinaigrette, sometimes a naughty, creamy mayonnaise. Good grief, you could just shake something out of a bottle in a fit of Sandra Lee hysterics and it would still be okay.
So there is nothing interesting to write about pasta salad, mine or in general. It is pasta salad, for fox ache. There is no interesting back-story of how I went to the farmers' market and met some gorgeous guy because we both reached for the same head of lettuce and then went back to his place to make sweet, sweet...pasta salad. I also refuse to research the history of pasta salad on The Internets. I will leave that to Jim O'Connor.
And you know what? I spent time primping my pasta salad because I knew. I knew that, if nothing else, at least it had to look good.
I *cringe* thinking that I am posting this "recipe" for my pasta salad because really now, a "recipe" for pasta salad is like a "recipe" for cold cereal. Put it in a bowl.
Summery Mediterranean Pasta Salad
Cook 12-16 ounces of any short pasta according to package directions. Do not rinse, but you knew that already.
While the pasta is cooking, whisk together ¼ c. olive oil, 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and 1 finely minced clove of fresh garlic. If you like things spicy, you can add a few teaspoons of crushed red pepper. If you're fancy, you can other herbs, too. Like fresh ones. Oooo.
Toss hot pasta with dressing until well coated.
I added the following to the pasta in the given amounts, but you can add according to your taste preference: 1 c. finely shredded red-leaf lettuce, 2 diced fresh Roma tomatoes, 6 sun-dried tomatoes that have been snipped, chiffonade of 3 large leaves of fresh basil, ½ c. diced mozzarella cheese, ½ c. brine-cured olives sliced in half, and about 2-3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese.
*head falls with a thud onto keyboard* I can't believe I just posted this "recipe."
** a year ago today, my souffle got a little too sexy **