Pasta Salad is one of my favorite quick meal summer time dinners. It’s a great way to use up extra veggies, or just get a couple extra into your diet for the week.
Some beautiful looking heirloom cherry tomatoes inspired my first pasta salad of the season.
The basil was used to make a lemon basil dressing for the pasta.
1 box orecchiette pasta
1 English cucumber, cubed
1 container heirloom tomatoes, halved
4 jarred artichoke hearts, quarted
1 container ricotta Cheese
salt and pepper
lemon – basil dressing
2 tightly packed cups of fresh basil
2 lemons, juiced
zest from 1 lemon
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
In a blender or using an immersion blender, blend the basil, zest and lemon juice. Slowly add the olive oil and blend until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Cook pasta according to the package instructions, strain and place into a large mixing bowl. Toss the pasta with the tomatoes, cucumbers and artichoke hearts. Add the lemon-basil dressing, salt and pepper and mix until everything is coated with the dressing. It is best to do this while the pasta is still hot as it will soak up the flavors of the dressing the best. You can serve while still warm, or place in your refrigerator to cool and serve when ready. Spoon into bowls and top each with a large spoonful of ricotta cheese.
Makes approximately 6 servings – more if used as a side dish.