Pasta Salad with Dried Mint Dressing
This colorful pasta salad is a great starter dish for entertaining and can feed a large group. The homemade dried mint dressing beats any bottle of store bought dressing. I love having it for leftovers the following day.
24 ounces multi-colored spiral pasta
1 medium yellow bell pepper, seeded, halved, then sliced into long thin strips
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded, halved, then sliced into long thin strips
1 medium orange bell pepper, seeded, halved, then sliced into long thin strips
15 oz can kidney beans, drained (2 ½ cups)
15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained (2 ½ cups)
2 cups pitted kalamata olives, drained and halved
¾ cup red onion, thinly sliced (about ½ small red onion, halved then thinly sliced)
2 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 2 ears)
8 oz Feta cheese, diced
Dried Mint Dressing
2 cups extra virgin olive oil
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons, dried crushed mint
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon sugar
Bring large pot of water to a boil and add a pinch of salt. (Follow water measurements and cooking instructions as directed on box label) Add pasta and boil uncovered, stirring often until pasta is just tender, about 10-12 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Combine bell peppers, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, olives, onion, and corn in a large mixing bowl. Add pasta and set aside.
Whisk all ingredients for the mint dressing in a medium mixing bowl. Pour dressing in to pasta mixture and mix well. Add feta cheese and gently toss. Refrigerate until cold and flavors combine.
Makes 6-8 Servings
*Pasta may be prepared one day ahead.
* A quick way of preparing the corn is to microwave with husks on for 3-4 minutes or more until tender. Remove husks and rinse under cold water until cool enough to handle. Holding the stem end cut downwards and remove kernels.
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