Wagon Wheel Pasta Toss

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Servings
8

This is such a whimsical-looking mix, itís bound to lure most any diner. It features ruote, a wagon wheel-shaped pasta, multicolored veggies and a snowfall of grated cheese.

The recipe is adapted from one that a friend shared with me years ago; you are welcome to adapt it further, as I do almost every time I make it--itís just that kind of recipe. If Iím serving it as a main course, for example, I might stir in some slivered Organic Prairie Pepperoni Slices or cooked Italian Chicken Sausage rounds.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in hot water 20 minutes and cut into slivers
  • 12 cup coarsely chopped imported black olives
  • 12 cup diced sweet red bell pepper
  • 12 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 12 cup finely chopped fennel bulb
  • 12 cup finely diced red onion
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 12 tablespoons minced garlic, mashed to a paste
  • 1 12 cups Newman's Own Organic Lighten Up Light Organic Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing (or to taste)
  • 1 pound Ruote (wagon wheel-shaped pasta)
  • 6 ounces Organic Valley Italian Blend Shredded Cheese
  • 12 cup Organic Valley Shredded Parmesan, divided (or more, to taste)
  • 14 cup chopped fresh basil
  • several whole basil leaf clusters

Directions

1. Combine tomato slivers, olives, bell peppers, fennel, onion, lemon zest and juice, garlic and dressing in a large bowl; let stand 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.

2. Cook pasta in lots of boiling, salted water until just tender; let stand for several minutes to drain well. Toss the still-warm pasta with the dressing-vegetable mixture.

3. Bring to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Stir in Italian Blend Cheese, half the Parmesan and the chopped basil. Just before serving, sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and garnish with basil clusters.

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