Yes, this salad has pasta in it, but the stars of the dish are the peas, asparagus, and arugula that really turn it into something much healthier and more complex than the typical summer pasta salad! The recipe comes from the a Food & Wine magazine that was kicking around the house. I'm so glad I browsed it one last time before passing it on! Not only did I get a great new pasta dish for summer picnics, but the dressing used would be terrific on mixed greens or used as a dipping sauce for crab or salmon cakes.
Things start out with a curly cornucopia shaped pasta called campanelle. Boil it up while you make the dressing. Toss the pasta with half the bowl of buttermilk/mayo dressing. Let it sit and absorb some of the dressing while you blanch peas and asparagus for about 2 minutes in a pot of boiling water. Flash chill the blanched veg in an ice bath and drain them well. While they drain, spin wash and chop fresh arugula leaves. Toss everything together with the rest of the dressing, add salt and black pepper to taste, and serve with something hot and juicy from the grill. It's summertime!
You can load up on this salad without feeling too guilty ... most of the plate is green veggies and the dressing is so tasty and light ! Enjoy!
Greens and Pasta Salad
Serves 4 - 6
1/2 lb. campanelle pasta horns
1/2 lb. asparagus spears, washed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 c. fresh or frozen peas
4 oz. fresh arugula leaves, washed and spun dry (or mixed greens or baby spinach leaves), coarsely chopped
Whisk together and set aside for a while:
1/2 c. buttermilk ( I use whole fat - sorry)
a generous 1/4 c. mayonnaise
1 1/2 tbsp. champagne vinegar
1 clove garlic, grated with a microplane tool
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste