Mediterranean Country Pasta Salad with fresh Herbs

By • June 17, 2010 • 1 Comments



Serves 6-8

  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup White Wine Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Green Spanish Olive Brine
  • 1/2 tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 3 small green onions
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan or Agiago cheese
  • 1 pound Italian Spiral Pasta
  • 1 small red bell pepper
  • 1 small yellow pepper
  • 1 small green pepper
  • 1/2 small withe onion
  • 2 small, firm zucchinis, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
  • 1/3 pound fresh mozzarella cheese cut into 1/4' inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup Spanish green olive slices
  • 1/8 cup black olive slices
  • 1-2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  1. To make the dressing, whir together in a blender at slow speed the olive oil, white wine vinegar, Spanish olives brine, kosher salt, cracked black pepper, green onions and parmesan cheese. The dressing should be slightly less thick than mayonnaise. Place dressing in jar to chill.
  2. While salad dressing is chilling, prepare the Italian spiral pasta according to directions on package for al dente. Drain pasta in colander and rinse several times with ice water. Let pasta drain while preparing the fresh mozzarela with herbs, and while the vegetables are being prepped.
  3. Clean and seed and chop the peppers, the onion, the zucchinis, and the garlic. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half lengthwise.
  4. Mince the fresh basil and the oregano. Cut the mozzarella into 1/4 inch cubes, and then roll the mozzarella around lightly into the freshly cut basil and oregano, collecting as much of the fresh herbs as possible into the cheese pieces.
  5. Place the cooled and drained pasta into a large salad bowl and carefully stir in the prepped vegetables. When vegetables are well distributed, sprinkle the top of the salad with the herbed mozzarella pieces. Distribute the olive slices over the cheese pieces, and then sprinkle with the balsamic vinegar according to taste. Toss all ingredients gently until all ingredients are well distributed. Cover the bowl and chill one hour before serving.
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about 4 years ago skytoucher

My family LOVES this recipe. I grow fresh herbs in pots on my balcony and snip them just before preparing the salad. When I have taken this salad to church socials or community potlucks, people beg me for the recipe. As the flavors marry, they create a divine aroma and flavor. Served with crunchy French or Italian bread, this meal is always a hit.