One of my standard holiday dishes, no matter what the season, is my pasta limone salad. It’s very easy to make and you can change things up to include colorful seasonal veggies—such as asparagus or corn–as well.
I’m not a vegetable person, but somehow I can manage to palate this salad—perhaps it’s the colors, the contrasts in flavors (sour, sweet, tangy). Oh, and having curly pasta always helps.
Mama Sophia’s Pasta Limone Salad Recipe
1 pkg tricolor rotini pasta
2 lemons (we will need the lemon zest and juice)
1 small jar of marinated artichoke hearts
fresh peppers (1/2 of each kind—1 yellow, 1 red, 1 orange) or jar of fire roasted peppers
2 or 3 baby cucumbers
1 pkg of cherry or grape tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh basil
1/4 red onion
freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)
1) Boil water. Prepare pasta according to directions.
2) While pasta is cooking, wash and cut peppers and baby cucumbers. Grate lemon zest from two lemons. Wash cherry or grape tomatoes and set aside. Rinse and coarsely chop parsley and basil. Finely slice red onion.
3) After pasta is rinsed in cold water and strained, add contents from the jar of artichoke hearts (you may want to cut the artichoke hearts into smaller pieces), peppers, baby cucumbers, lemon zest, parsley, basil, red onion. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice from one lemon as you gently toss salad. Chill salad for at least 2 hours.
4) Before serving, add tomatoes, squeeze half a lemon and toss again. Add freshly ground pepper if you’d like.
5) Finally, you may choose to add the freshly grated parmesan cheese to the salad or have guests add it themselves.
1) If you’re living in a state where you can use the lemons from your backyard (e.g., Florida or California), the juice of one lemon might be all you need.
2) I recommend keeping the cherry or grape tomatoes uncut so that people who don’t like tomatoes can easily avoid them.