- Baby Bingo
- Three hours of gift opening
- Precious Moments figurines
- Aunt Dorothy asking if you’re married yet
- Copious barbecue
- Red wine
- Good lighting and music
- A vast array of delicious side dishes
As opposed to the floppyrotini/limpbroccoli/Italiandressing pasta salads of yore, this repast benefits greatly from a buttload of fresh seasonal veggies, as well as a slightly spicy tomato-based sauce. It’s tasty, pretty, and makes a metric ton of food to boot.
To make it a tad more manageable/nutritional, I cut the cucumber into quarters and halved the olive oil from ¼ cup to 2 Tbsp., which didn’t make a noticeable difference in the taste. The recipe calls for ½ cup of black olives and ½ cup crumbled feta, which I left off, as well. I love both, but found the olives don’t add much, and my lactose-intolerant friends couldn’t hack the frommage. Feel free to add any element back (especially the cheese) if it’s to your liking.
Finally, I should mention that I got totally hosed on the price of the grape tomatoes. In retrospect, I could have bought two vine-ripened tomatoes for $1.50, chopped ‘em, and saved $2.50 overall. But alas, I’m a dummy, Pathmark pricing is the devil, and the twain shalt not co-exist in a peaceful world.
Gazpacho Pasta Salad
15 servings – 1 massive cup each
Adapted from Cook's Country.
1 14-½ oz. can diced (or whole) tomatoes
3 medium garlic cloves
1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
¼ cup packed fresh basil
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 pound rotini pasta
1 medium cucumber, peeled, quartered lengthwise, seeded and cut into ¼ inch pieces
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 cups (or 1 pt.) cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
3 scallions, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1) Combine diced tomatoes, garlic, red pepper flakes, basil, vinegar and ½ teaspoon salt in a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to a non-metal bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
2) Cook pasta in salted water until al dente. When finished, drain and rinse well with cold water.
3) Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add pasta and pureed dressing and toss well. Serve straight to the table or after a few hours in the fridge
Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price Per Serving
147 calories, 2.4 g fat, $0.74
1 14-½ oz. can diced tomatoes: 75 calories, 0 g fat, $1.19
3 medium garlic cloves: 15 calories, 0 g fat, $0.15
1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes: negligible calories and fat., $0.20
¼ cup packed fresh basil: negligible calories and fat, $0.85 (packed = more $)
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar: negligible calories and fat, $0.10
Salt: negligible calories and fat, $0.01
1 pound rotini pasta: 1680 calories, 8 g fat, $0.60
1 medium cucumber: 20 calories, 0 g fat, $0.40
1 medium red bell pepper: 40 calories, 0 g fat, $0.88
1 medium yellow bell pepper: 40 calories, 0 g fat, $1.64
2 cups (or 1 pt.) cherry or grape tomatoes: 60 calories, 0 g fat, $3.99
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley: negligible calories and fat, $0.45
3 scallions: 15 calories, 0 g fat, $0.50
2 Tbsp olive oil: 240 calories, 28 g fat, $0.15
TOTAL: 2185 calories, 36 g fat, $11.11
PER SERVING (TOTAL/6): 147 calories, 2.4 g fat, $0.74