I have been asked by the Hodgson Mill company to create a whole wheat pasta salad recipe and participate in their contest. I make pasta at least once a week and, recently, I have been particularly often using whole wheat pasta. I think certain sauces taste even better with whole wheat past thanks to its stronger, kind of nutty flavor. It also has some added health benefits.
But although I cook pastas often, there is only one pasta salad I make which is based on all good Italian ingredients. And maybe because it is very light, seasoned just with oil and vinegar instead of mayonnaise, it always disappears rather fast when I serve it for deck parties to accompany grilled meats. So that is the recipe I share today.
Hodgson Mill also offered a $25 suite of their assorted products to the US readers of my blog. This gift will be sent to the first person who first sends an answer to the following question:
What are the health benefits of the whole wheat pasta?
All Italian Whole Wheat Pasta Salad
10 oz whole wheat whole grain Hodgson Mill pasta (preferably bow ties),
2/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil,
one large red bell pepper,
one small red onion,
1/4 cup roasted pine nuts,
1/4 cup marinated capers,
4 oz pancetta or very lean smoked bacon,
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar,
3 tbsp shredded or grated Parmesan cheese,
2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley,
one tsp freshly ground black pepper,
one tbsp salt.
1. In a large pot bring to boil 4 quarts of water with a tbsp of salt. Add pasta, stir and let it cook until the water boils. Turn down the heat to medium and cook pasta for about 7 to 9 minutes, until tender but not too soft. Drain the pasta on the colander and transfer to a large bowl.
2. Preheat an oven broiler to 400 F and grill the pepper on the highest rack until the skin turns black, or roast the pepper on the fork over a gas burner until the skin is charcoaled. Place the pepper in a small bowl and cover it. Let it cool down. Peel off the pepper, remove seeds and cut it into small squares. Add them to the pasta.
3. Drain tomatoes from the oil and cut them into thin strips. Add to the pasta together with 2 tbsp of oil that they were marinated in. You can also use just dried tomatoes but then add 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil to the pasta.
4. Cut pancetta or bacon into very small cubes. Fry them on a small frying pan until all the grease is released and pancetta turns gold. Drain pancetta from the grease and add to the pasta.
5. Peel off the onion, chop finely and add to the bowl.
6. Drain capers from the brine and toss them in the pasta. Follow with pine nuts, chopped parsley and shredded Parmesan cheese.
7. Season with pepper and balsamic vinegar at the end. Mix gently all the ingredients and serve at room temperature.
If you like this recipe please go to the Hodgson Mill website and vote for it: