Sesame Pasta Salad

I’ve been fooling around with this recipe for a while now, trying different vinegars, oils, sweeteners, vegetables, and processes. At one point, I even made a version with roasted tomatoes and asparagus, with prosciutto. But nah. The cold, crisp, raw veggies are what I prefer. And now I finally have a version I’m happy with! This is a great salad for picnics, potlucks, light meals, lunches, and snacks. One pound of pasta makes a big batch, and if you’re only feeding two people like I am, it goes a long way. Thankfully, this makes great leftovers! If you’re feeding a large crowd, you may want to double the recipe. Feel free to substitute your own favorite vegetables. So far, the grape tomato, snap pea, and yellow pepper combo is my favorite. I’ve tried cherry tomatoes, green beans, red pepper, orange pepper, carrots, the roasted veggies and prosciutto I mentioned above, and probably a few more. None of them worked for me. But this version has great flavor, color, and texture. The recipe is extremely flexible, however, so mix and match and adjust as you see fit.

Sesame Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 tbsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. sugar
1 lb. bowtie pasta
1 crate grape tomatoes
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 ½ cups snap peas, halved
¼ cup sesame seeds

Guidelines:

Cook pasta according to package directions. You want your pasta to be al dente, however, so you may have to pull it off the stove and drain it just shy of the time it lists.

In a medium bowl, combine olive oil, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, and sesame seeds. Mix well.

In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the sauce. Add vegetables and toss again.

Note: The pasta and vegetables should be thoroughly coated in the sauce. If your dish it too dry, mix up a half batch of sauce and add to the dish until it’s, well, saucy.

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