Mixed Shape Pasta Salad
With every cupboard in my kitchen bursting at the seams, the “kitchen overflow” carts in the guest room well, overflowing, and extra stuff piled high on the dining room table, I’ve been on a mission lately to use stuff up. With my job, I feel like I’m always buying new ingredients, more ingredients, different ingredients to keep coming up with unique recipes. But my kitchen (and my sanity) can only take so much.
After a quick inventory last week, I realized I had nine shapes of pasta currently open. NINE SHAPES. And I had no more than a few ounces of each shape – not really quite enough to make an entree (or even a very small side dish) with any one type. Since it defeats the purpose to buy a new 16 ounce box of rotini to add to the 3 ounces of rotini I have, I knew the only logical thing to do was throw caution to the wind and start mixing shapes. The Italians call this “pasta mista,” and I think it’s a really fun way to clean out your pantry.
While I don’t recommend getting too crazy and mixing lasagna noodles with elbow macaroni, most medium size shapes of pasta cook in roughly the same amount of time (9 to 11 minutes). I had a few ounces each of rotini, penne and campanelle on hand, so that’s what I’ve used here. The pasta is tossed with chickpeas, cucumbers, tomatoes and light and tangy dressing made with buttermilk, Greek yogurt and dill. Take a look in your pantry and see what you find – you might be surprised to discover you’re well on your way to this Mixed Shape Pasta Salad!
- 8 ounces assorted pasta (make sure all shapes are about the same size; I used a mix of rotini, penne and campanelle)
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- Pinch of kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 3/4 cup chopped cucumber
- 3/4 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1. Heat large pot of salted water to boiling over high heat. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain pasta, rinse with cold water, and drain again.
2. Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk buttermilk, yogurt, mayonnaise, dill, garlic powder, salt and pepper until smooth. Add chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes and pasta; toss until well combined. For best flavor, cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.