As Morg and I chatted today about a blog she reads called Sarcastic Cooking (which is awesome despite the fact they clearly stole my name), I realized how much I’ve been denying this blog in the name of work. Let’s abruptly put a stop to that shall we?
I made this recipe a month or so ago to take to the lake, and as any meat-laced pasta salad is sure to be, it was a winner. This is a recipe from Giada de Laurentis, who, I’d like to reiterate, cannot possibly be eating the food she cooks on TV. She should look like Paula Deen with all the butter and sugar that goes into everything, yet she’s one bikini and dye-job away from being a Playmate. I do not buy it, Giada. Just know that.
Anyway, a pasta salad recipe that uses salami and olives is a slam dunk with me in any capacity; however I have modified this recipe slightly because our Italian sister went ape crazy with the oil. Seriously, I had to strain the pasta salad after I made it because it was swimming in extra virgin. But fear not – proportions have been corrected accordingly, so whip up with confidence.
Red Wine Vinaigrette:
1 bunch fresh basil, stemmed and leaves chopped (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (add more later if too dry)
1 lemon, juiced
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 Asiago cheese
2 tablespoons green olives, halved and pitted
2 tablespoons roasted red peppers, cut into strips
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.
- In a blender, add the basil, vinegar, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper. Blend until the herbs are finely chopped. With the machine running, drizzle in the olive oil until the dressing is smooth.
- In a large bowl, toss together the cooked pasta with the remaining salad ingredients. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Add lemon juice to taste for acidity purposes. Serve.
Despite his tendency to explain things in such extreme detail that it makes me want to watch E! and read People magazine for 24-hours straight just to give my brain a rest, Alton Brown knows his shiz. This recipe was taken from his and was salty, rich deliciousness. The Chef is usually not a fan of olives, but tapenade made him a believer, so try it on for size if you’re a skeptic.
1/2 pound pitted mixed olives*
2 anchovy fillets, rinsed**
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons capers
2 to 3 fresh basil leaves
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- Thoroughly rinse the olives in cool water.
- Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Process to combine, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until the mixture becomes a coarse paste, approximately 1 to 2 minutes total. (I processed less because I like it to keep a sturdier texture. That is the weirdest phrase I’ve typed in a while.) Transfer to a bowl and serve with homemade crostini or pita bread – it needs a bready texture to soak up the saltiness, so purchase accordingly.
*I’d suggest 1/3 each of green, black and something funky like kalamata.
**Just pull them out of the can and go with it. Over-thinking is bad as far as these weird but nummy little thingies go.
I thought this recipe was a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people ask what the actual seven layers are in Seven Layer Dip. So here ya go.
The secret is using picante sauce where so many people use salsa because it gives you just enough zing to cut through the creaminess.
(It’s also technically 8 layers if you include the tomatoes on the top, but it will be so good that no one will complain.) Now go getcho chips and enjoy.
2 15 oz cans refried beans with green chiles
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups guacamole
picante sauce (medium or hot), enough to cover the guac layer
2 cups shredded cheddar and monterey jack cheese
4 green onions, chopped
4 oz can sliced black olives
3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
Fritos or Scoops
- If you want to serve the dip hot, preheat the oven to 350.
- Mix mayo and sour cream together.
- Layer ingredients in order, starting with beans and ending olives.
- Bake for 30 minutes, top with tomatoes and serve. Or, if you’re of the more impatient variety or you prefer this cold, add tomatoes, sit and chow.