There’s a divine beauty in the summer season that can be experienced through our sense of taste when we place certain vibrant flavors onto our tongues so that they may awaken our palettes. And awaken them they do!
The juice of a yellow lemon is at its sharpest and cleanest when tasted in the direct glowing hue of a golden sun ray; and the flavor of fresh, delicate basil is made more fully green and freshly grassy when partnered with that particularly good and tangy friend.
Cool pasta salad was made for the summer time; it was made to be tossed and tangled, mixed and mingled, with creamy and velvety pourable elixirs. It was made to be sprinkled liberally with delectable bits of tasty things that become flavored more fully in the strength of the summer sun, such as sweet and succulent sun-dried tomatoes that adorn whatever they touch like rubies adorn a delicate earlobe or slender finger; or tiny toasted dots of warmly aromatic pine nuts and deliciously pungent shavings of parmesan.
Pasta salad made to be summer’s perfect companion that could be unabashedly enjoyed as its soft twisty-ness bounces around the mouth and slides down into the belly like creamy, silky ribbons; it was made to be summer’s cool poetry that could be twirled around my fork and ingested ever-so easily.
Taste what’s good and pass it on.
Lemon-Basil Pasta Salad with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Toasted Pine Nuts & Shaved Parmesan
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves about 8
• 1 pound spaghetti pasta, cooked and cooled
• Lemon-Basil Dressing (recipe below)
• ¼ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (can be packed in oil, or dry—just reconstitute with hot water, first)
• ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
• ½ cup shaves parmesan cheese
• Basil leaves, for garnish
-Add the cooked and cooled spaghetti pasta into a large bowl; drizzle in dressing, along with most the sun-dried tomatoes (reserve a little for garnish), and most of the pine nuts (reserve a little for garnish), and toss everything together until well coated; check the seasoning to see if additional salt and black pepper are needed.
-Serve chilled, garnished with a little of the reserves sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts, plus a healthy sprinkle of the shaved parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of torn-up, fresh basil leaves.
Lemon-Basil Dressing Ingredients:
• 2 cups mayo
• 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)
• 1 tablespoon lemon zest
• 2 (2/3 ounce) packages of fresh basil
• 3 cloves of garlic
• ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
• 3 tablespoons sugar
• 1 ½ teaspoons salt
• 1 ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
• 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
• ¼ cup olive oil
-Place all of the ingredients up to and including the Italian seasoning into the bowl of a food processor, and process until blended; with the processor running, drizzle in the olive oil, until well blended; use immediately, or store in fridge until ready to use.