Thursday, July 17, 2008

Zingy Pasta Salad with Garlic and Basil

After too many nights of various combinations of rice, beans, and tomatoes, summer's here, and the garden bristles with herbs and fresh vegetables. We're beginning to eat like kings on a dime budget again. (Not that we don't ever eat like kings during the just costs more than a dime, and guilt ensues.)

If you've a garden, and you like garlic, you've probably made an almost identical pasta, as it's a throw-together of 15 minutes or less. It's "zingy" because I used enough garlic for Annika to complain of its spiciness. John loved the pasta, and corrected her; apparently, it's not spicy, just zingy.

Cook one box penne rigate (my standby Aldi only has white, but to make this healthy, use wheat) until al dente. Cool under cold running water and drain.

In a blender, combine 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves, and 6 plump cloves garlic (freshly minced). Blend until liquefied/pureed/whatever it's called when everything is in eensy pieces and coats the pasta evenly. (If you don't have a blender or similar kitchen gadget, just smush everything as small as you can.)

Add to pasta and toss together with one sliced cucumber and several roma tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.


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