This is a very fresh and creamy pasta salad featuring many different vegetables and a slightly spicy ricotta dressing. Its easy to make, looks beautiful on any table and goes well with all sorts of main dishes. Oh and lets not forget, its also super yummy! I hope you and your family will enjoy it as much as we did! :) Note please: This salad is great both warm and cold.
- 250 g cavatappi pasta (2 1/3 cup)
- 250 g frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, corn, 1/2 lb)
- 3 -4 tablespoons part-skim ricotta cheese, may need more
- 2 tablespoons half-and-half, may need more
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1⁄8 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
- 1⁄8 teaspoon green jalapeno pepper, flakes (optional)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder, heaping
- 1⁄4 teaspoon paprika
- 1⁄4 teaspoon rosemary, dried
- 1⁄8 teaspoon salt (or to taste, I prefer less)
- black pepper, freshly ground to taste
- 60 g swiss cheese, cubed (1/2 cup)
- 1 onion, diced
- 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 handful arugula, leaves (stems snipped off)
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds (preferrably roasted)
- 2 tablespoons basil, chiffonade (sliced thinly)
- In a large pot cook pasta according to package directions until al dente (this will take about 8-10 minutes depending on your brand of pasta). During the last 6 minutes of cooking add your frozen vegetables.
- Meanwhile prepare the dressing by mixing ricotta, half and half, olive oil and spices (chili through pepper) in a bowl. Adjust salt and pepper to your liking.
- Drain the pasta and veggies, return them to the pot and add the dressing. Stir to combine. You might need to add 1 tbs or so more of the ricotta and/or half and half depending on how much your pasta absorbs.
- Transfer the pasta veggie dressing mix to your serving bowl.
- Add the cheese cubes, onion, cherry tomatoes, arugula leaves and sunflower seeds. Toss to combine.
- Last but not least top with the basil strips and if you like mix again. Serve warm or cold.
I loved this colorful salad. It has lots of veggies and tasted great. I liked the dressing too. It had great flavor to pair with the bolder corkscrew shaped pasta & add a welcome creaminess without being gloppy when first made. The next day though the dressing was absorbed & the salad needed additional dressing. When I make it again I will reserve some just for that purpose. Knowing there would be leftovers I elected to stir in the argula & basil each day so it wouldn't wilt. Thank you for sharing your recipe & good luck in the contest! :-)
Very colorful salad. Couldn't find frozen peas and carrots, and detest the canned version, so I diced up my own carrots and added them 5 minutes before adding the frozen peas and corn. I added the swiss cheese, tomatoes, arugula and basil. Didn't have any sunflower seeds around today, but did have pepitas, so tossed those in. I didn't use this as a side, but enjoyed it as my lunch today. Thanks for sharing! Made for Photo Tag!
I have a total aversion to frozen carrots (They never turn out right for me!), & so I diced & steamed 3/4 cup of fresh carrots then added that, along with 3/4 cup of frozen peas & a similar amount of frozen corn to the pasta for the last 2 minutes or so of the cooking process! Followed the recipe after that & we were most pleased with the resulting salad! Will be making this one again, for sure! Thanks for posting it! [Tagged & reviewed in Make My Recipe]