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Summer Pasta Salad Recipe

Photo source: Grandmother's Kitchen

This summer pasta salad recipe uses fresh zucchini, and grape tomatoes. It is a good medley of flavors that makes for a great summer salad.

Ingredients

8 ounces dry penne pasta (2-1/3 cups)
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 medium zucchini (2 cups) cut into bite sized pieces
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved

Dressing
1 shallot, finely chopped ( 3 Tbsp.)
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon dijon-style mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Tablespoons olive oil

fresh basil to garnish
16 green olives

Directions

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.

Add the pasta and cook 8-10 minutes, el dente.

Drain the water from the pasta, rinse under cold water and drain again.

Transfer the pasta into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Using a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.

Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the sunflowers and cook 30 more seconds.

Add the zucchini and cook for 2-3 minutes until the zucchini softens.

Add the tomato halves and cook another 2 minutes until the tomatoes soften.

Transfer the vegetables into the pasta bowl.

Use a rubber spatula to combine.

Dressing

In a small bowl, combine the shallot, vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper and olive oil. Stir well and pour over the pasta vegetable salad, add the green olives toss the salad together.

You can either serve at room temperature right after making or you can refrigerate and serve cold. Salad will be good for 2 days and the flavors will improve with time as they meld together.

Garnish each serving with fresh basil leaves and

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