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!
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.
I totally get you on the random boxes of pasta floating around. I usually end up dumping them into mixed shape mac and cheese or random pasta dish of the night. This works too and I just did a buttermilk/greek yogurt pasta salad dressing too. Love the tangy combo of the too.
Oh, I’ve definitely done the mixed shape mac & cheese, too! Gotta do what you gotta do to clear out the cupboards 😉
What a fun pasta salad! I also find that using whatever’s lying around at home tends to inspire creative recipes.
Oh definitely, Mary. Trying to use up all my pantry ingredients is like an episode of “Chopped” every night 🙂
Growing up I thought everyone made pasta e fagioli with mixed pasta shapes. It wasn’t until I started cooking & asked my mother what mix she used. Her answer was “I just finish up whatever I have left in open packages”.
This recipe looks so refreshing for warmer weather. Now we just have to make something to use up the rest of the ceci beans! 🙂 Luckily there’s very little that can’t be thrown into a soup or a random salad to round out a meal. Thanks!
Your mom knew what was up, Leslie 🙂 I guess I didn’t think about how now somebody would have leftover chickpeas – oops! But like you said, they keep in the fridge, and you can just throw them in a random salad or something. Thanks so much for stopping by!
What a great idea! I think I’ve mixed my pasta shapes once or twice when I did not have enough of any one shape. But never thought about doing a pasta salad with those leftovers. There are endless possibilities here.
Yep, I’ve mixed pasta shapes a few times for hot pasta dishes, when I realized I didn’t have enough of any one shape. But for some reason, I like it better as a cold pasta salad. It doesn’t make sense, but it is what it is 🙂
Nine shapes open, wow! But hey, isn’t this pasta you just created looks like a fun dish both to the cook and to the foodie reader!
Julie & Alesah
Gourmet Getaways xx
Haha yeah, nine was just wayyyyy too many types of pasta open at once. Thanks J & A!