You can be flexible with the ingredients of this pasta salad. The idea is to combine some hearty cooked vegetables with pasta and flavorful additions like nuts, cheese, fresh herbs tied together with a yummy vinaigrette. Cauliflower can be substituted for the broccoli.
1 lb rainbow corkscrew pasta, or any bite size pasta:
2 cups broccoli, cut into bite size pieces, stems peeled and cut into ¼ inch coins
2 cups kale, chop into long slivers, bite size
½ onion, chopped
1-2 carrots, quartered and cut into small pieces
1-2 cucumbers, quartered and cut into small pieces
3 TBL fresh herbs, whatever is on hand ( chives, oregano, mint, dill, sage, fennel)
½ cup nice flavorful cheese; feta, parmesan
¼ cup nuts chopped; walnuts, pine nuts, sunflower seeds
Optional additions: olives, capers, prosciutto, bacon, salmon
Cook pasta in 1 gallon of boiling water with 2 TBL salt. 5 minutes before the pasta is done, add the broccoli and kale to cook along with the pasta. Drain and set aside on a baking sheet. It’s OK if it sticks together.
Allow to cool them combine all ingredients saving the herbs for last. Top with 1 cup of black and green olive vinaigrette or italian dressing. You may need to add a little more olive oil to make 1 cup of dressing. Make sure dressing is well emulsified before adding to salad. Garnish with fresh herbs.