Vegetable Pasta Salad

As the weather starts to get nicer, it’s hard to stay in the kitchen cooking, which is why we sometimes make a few cold dishes which can last for a few days, and don’t need heating to eat.  This one is an old favorite, and is a variation on an old Mollie Katzen recipe (it has varied quite a bit over the years).   The key flavor which ties it all together is the fresh basil.  It can serve a lot of people;  goes well at potlucks, or is easily refrigerated for eating over several days (though it may go quickly; it’s hard not to go for more)  Here is our version.

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Panzanella

panzanellaPanzanella is another wonderful traditional Tuscan dish, made from items in the garden and stale or dry bread. We discovered it in the beautiful city of Montalcino.   After viewing some absolutely stunning views from atop the castle, we wandered and found a nice little café for a glass of the city’s specialty wine, Brunello. On a whim we ordered this dish and it was perfect, and refreshing.  We had to learn how to make it as soon as we returned home.   It is served at room temperature.  Below is a rough recipe.  I have added a few things that may not be traditional (e.g, the mustard) but it can be modified to taste. Continue reading