Thursday, May 5, 2011

Dish | Spring/Summer Pasta Salad

Hi there! 

This is officially my first post on Design & Dishes! I'm excited to finally get this thing going, but I have to admit that choosing a topic to start with has been slightly more stressful then I anticipated. It came down to that not so ancient question: Design or Dish?  

Its been one of those perfect weeks here in San Francisco. Great friends, tons of sunshine and so many excuses for delicious foods and beverages! Some friends and I had spent a few hours on the roof of my apartment yesterday basking in the sun and sipping on Berger Gruner Veltliner white wine spritzers with rosemary lemonade. Starting the day with a liquid lunch meant dinner time was going to be early. Sure enough, 5:00 rolled around and I had a small army to feed. I knew I could feed 5 people for $20 if I made pasta. We all took a quick stroll through Hayes Valley being sure to stop at Arlequin Cafe for more wine, followed by a stop at Nabila's Market for the food. 

So here it is. My first dish! This one is super quick and easy. My Pasta Salad recipe can be made 1-2 days in advance and is best if eaten cool or at room temperature. I used vegetables that are in season but feel free to substitute any of the veggies to suit your personal tastes. On a side-note: The Mozzarella pictured above was used for an appetizer. I think the recipe would be nice with Mozzarella, but I used Parmigiano Reggiano for this particular meal.

Rotini pasta
1 cup Asparagus trimmed and cut into 1in. sections
1 cup Green Beans trimmed and cut into 1in. sections
1 cup Cherry Tomatoes halved (I used Plum Tomatoes and removed the seeds)
1 can of pitted Kalamata Olives drained
1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano (I say use as much as you want)

1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 tablespoon Honey
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper

1  |  Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Don't forget to salt the water! Stir pasta occasionally for 5-7 minutes. Add Asparagus and Green Beans to boiling water with pasta. Cook for another 2-4 minutes until pasta is done and vegetables are done but slightly firm. Drain pasta and vegetables. Set aside in a large serving bowl making sure to stir often until it cools down.

Dressing: In a measuring cup whisk Red Wine Vinegar, Balsamic Vinegar and Honey together. Slowly add Olive Oil and whisk until completely blended. Add Salt and Pepper to dressing until it suits your taste.

2  |  Add half of the dressing to the pasta and stir. Refrigerate pasta for roughly 15 minutes. I like to use this time to chop the Tomatoes, drain the Olives, and slice up a package of Prosciutto or Salami. In this case I used Salami. I cut it into 1/4in. strips. 

3  |  Once the pasta has cooled, add the remaining ingredients and dressing. Give it a good tossing and add the cheese. Let is rest for another 5 minutes before serving and add any extra Salt or Pepper you like.

Happy Cinco De Mayo!


  1. I love it! So excited you are doing this, and that you have developed such a love of cooking. Now you just have to post recipes your sister can so she can try them at home :-)

  2. You make me so hungry. Well done!