Whole Wheat Pasta Salad with Marinated Mushrooms, Artichokes, Feta, Etc

   The last week has been nothing but late season thunderstorms.
   Each fat rain drop that hits my windshield is like a splash of happiness in my heart. I love the rain so very much. I’m in an exceptional good mood as I just booked my next vacation… three days in a sweet suite in Las Vegas followed by three days camping, fishing and hiking with good friends in the Eastern Sierras. Life is good.
   Unfortunately rain means it is hot and humid here in my mountain home and also in the valley where I commute to go to work. This hot humid weather means that since I have returned from vacation  last week, my trail running and hiking are suffering.
    If I leave the house at six a.m. I can manage to run three miles or so before it gets to damn hot.
   Late summer time seems like a perfect time to make a easy pasta salad for a summer dinner that involves using the oven barely at all.
   You can even use the precooked frozen pasta in this recipe but I prefer whole wheat pasta so I braved turning on the stove top for twenty minutes to boil the noodles.

Whole Wheat Pasta Salad with Marinated Mushrooms, Artichokes and Feta Cheese, Etc

2 cups whole wheat pasta, cooked
1/2 cup marinated mushrooms
1/4 cup peppercines, cut up
1/4 cup marinated bell peppers, sliced
1/4 cup green olives, chopped
1/2 cup marinaded artichokes, sliced
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup marinated mozzarella, cut into chunks
6 basil leaves, sliced thin
1 tsp garlic salt
1/4 cup red wine vinaigrette

Combine the pasta, mushrooms, peppercines, bell peppers, olives, artichokes and both cheeses in a big bowl. Toss with the garlic salt and the red wine vinaigrette. Throw the basil on top and this late summer salad is ready to be served!


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