Thursday, October 6, 2011

Vegan Mofo #11 - Isa’s Trattoria Pasta Salad with White Beans and Sun-dried Tomato-Walnut Dressing...

Vegan Mofo #11 - Isa’s Trattoria Pasta Salad with White Beans and Sun-dried Tomato-Walnut Dressing

The Book - "Appetite for Reduction"
The Author - Isa Chandra Moskowitz
The Recipe - Trattoria Pasta Salad with White Beans and Sun-Dried Tomato-Walnut Dressing
Page #49-50
Difficulty - Easy
Duration - 30 minutes total time for the salad, 20 minutes total time for the dressing

What’s this? Two pasta salad recipes back to back? I know, I should have planned that out a little better. Alas I did not, but I suppose if you love pasta salad as much as I do this won’t matter to you. As I said in my last post I cherish creativity more then anything else and this recipe has it. I never would have thought to put a leafy green like arugula into my pasta salad, nor would I have thought to roast my red peppers before adding them. I love roasted red peppers, and it’s such a perfect fit for pasta salad that I can’t believe I’ve never thought of it before. I also found the dressing rather inspired. Sun-dried tomatoes blended with walnuts? Mm... amazing! I love sun-dried tomatoes and it somehow never occurred to me to throw them into a pasta salad either, even though I use them frequently in hot pasta dishes.

Everything in this dish just works. The brinyness of the kalamata olives, mixed with the peppery arugula, combined with the sweet smokey peppers and the sweet-tart sun-dried dressing. It’s a brilliantly complex jumble of flavor that comes together in almost no time at all. With few ingredients this salad is easy to prepare as boiling water.

I did however make two changes. 1) I left out the white beans. I’m not really a fan. I can handle them in chili or in soup, or in a dish where they’re blended, but to have them feature so prominently in a dish. Well I’m not quite there yet, though I’m working towards liking them, I swear I am. 2) Again I found the dressing to be a little to vinegary for my taste. Also I’m not the biggest fan of fennel so the two together just seemed to work against me. This was a quick fix though, I simply added in a dollop of agave and everything was perfect. I definitely recommend this recipe if you’re looking for a new way to jazz up pasta salad.

I also think that this salad would be great with spinach in place of arugula, but then maybe I say that because arugula is one of those foods I really have to be in the mood for, while spinach I could eat everyday. Meh - regardless of what you choose to do this salad is a win.

PS: Also again I didn’t use brown rice pasta, I used a combination of veggie shells, and wheat bow-ties.


  1. And I LOVE pasta salad so you can post as many pasta recipes as you want, I won't complain.

  2. I vaguely recall this meal. I think it was 1 of those dishes you were kind enough to leave the olives out until after I got my plate. hah But MAN could I go for some pasta now. haha - Matt