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posted: 7/9/2014 5:45 AM

Minestrone Pasta Salad

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  • The flavors of your favorite cold-weather soup come together in a summer Minestrone Pasta Salad.

    The flavors of your favorite cold-weather soup come together in a summer Minestrone Pasta Salad.
    The Washington Post


Kosher salt

8 ounces dried ditalini pasta

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup finely diced red onion

1 medium (4 ounces) zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

4 ounces green beans (ends trimmed), cut into ¼-inch pieces

2 medium (4 ounces total) carrots, scrubbed well, then cut into generous ¼-inch cubes (¾ cup)

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed

1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard

⅛ teaspoon sugar

Freshly ground black pepper

¾ cup cooked, no-salt-added chickpeas (drained and rinsed if using canned)

¾ cup cooked, no-salt-added Great Northern beans (drained and rinsed if using canned)

2 ounces sliced hard Italian salami, cut into generous ¼-inch squares

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil, plus more for optional garnish

1 tomato (6 ounces), peeled, seeded and cut into ¼-inch dice, for garnish (optional)

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the ditalini and cook according to the package directions. Use a slotted spoon/strainer to transfer the pasta to a colander set in the sink; rinse with cold water to cool immediately. Return the pot of water to a boil.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium nonstick saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Add the zucchini pieces and cook for 3 minutes; the vegetable should still be firm. Remove from the heat.

Prepare a bowl of water and ice.

Add the string bean pieces to the pot of boiling water; cook for 3 minutes. Add the carrots and cook for 3 minutes -- no longer. Immediately drain the vegetables, then transfer them to the ice-water bath. After 10 minutes, drain the vegetables. Lay them out on paper towels or on a clean dish towel to dry.

In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 5 tablespoons oil, balsamic and red wine vinegars, oregano, mustard and sugar to form an emulsified dressing. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add the cooked pasta, zucchini-onion mix, carrots, green beans, chickpeas, Great Northern beans, salami and chopped basil; stir to incorporate. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Transfer to a serving bowl. If desired, garnish with basil and diced tomato just before serving.

Serves 12.

Nutrition values per serving: 190 calories, 9 g fat (2 g saturated), 22 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 5 g protein, 0 cholesterol, 115 mg sodium.

Stephanie Witt Sedgwick, for The Washington Post

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