This recipe uses everything in the icebox. If you have red onion, a little piece of squash or zucchini, berries, peaches, apples or one random tomato throw it in there. This is also amazing for lunchboxes the next day and delicious at room temperature.
Technique tip: Make sure the pasta water is as salty as seawater. Otherwise your pasta will be tasteless. Dried pasta when placed in water to boil absorbs the water if the water isn't seasoned then neither will the pasta.
Parmesan Vinaigrette (makes about 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 cups baby heirloom tomatoes, halved
- 2 small zucchini, thinly sliced into half moons
- 1 small red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
- 1 cup fresh corn kernels
- 1 cup diced firm, rip fresh peaches (about 2 medium)
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
For the Parmesan vinaigrette:
Process the Parmesan cheese, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, garlic, pepper and salt in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add the basil and cilantro pulse 5 or 6 times or just until blended.
For the pasta salad:
1. Toss together the tomatoes, zucchini, bell pepper, corn, peaches, scallions and vinaigrette in a large bowl, and let stand 10 minutes
2. Meanwhile prepare the pasta according to package directions. Add the hot cooked pasta and chicken to the tomato mixture; toss gently to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Transfer to a platter and serve.