Guess what? I have a garden! A real live garden that actually grows edible things! This is a HUGE accomplishment for me considering I’ve never even been able to keep a house plant alive in the past. I love walking into my yard and picking basil, oregano, chives or tomatoes whenever I need them. I’m ready to move to the country and become a farmer. Totally. I’m shopping online for overalls as I write this.  I tell you this garden story not just because I feel like patting myself on the back, but because the dressing in this pasta salad is made from fresh basil and it is delicious.  You should make it this weekend while you watch the olympics. You need carbs for all that cardio your brain will be witnessing. 

Ingredients:

For the Dressing:

  • 1 bunch fresh basil, stemmed and leaves chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the Pasta Salad:

  • 1 pound fusilli pasta
  • 1/2 cup hard salami, cut into strips (about 3 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup smoked turkey, cut into strips (about 3 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup provolone cheese, cut into strips
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 TB green olives, halved and pitted
  • 2 TB roasted red peppers, cut into strips
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

1. To make the dressing, combine the basil, vinegar, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper in a blender. Blend until the herbs are finely chopped. With the machine running, carefully drizzle in the olive oil and blend until the dressing is smooth and evenly combined.

2. Cook the pasta until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain and rinse.

3. In a large bowl, toss together the cooked pasta with the remaining salad ingredients. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Serve at room temperature or chill in the fridge.

ENJOY!

Source: Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis 

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