Now you might be wondering why I've labelled this recipe 'potluck' pasta? To be honest, this has been my most popular and in-demand recipe whenever we have had get-togethers, especially if there are kids involved. Kids just love pasta and I try to make it as colourful as possible to get them to eat some veggies along with it. The reason I prefer keeping this recipe purely vegan is 'cuz inevitably in any party there will be a lot of non-veg and high calorie foods (well it's a party and the only time you get to indulge a bit). So keeping that in mind I thought a light vegan pasta dish would perfectly balance the entire spread.
There are many versions to this particular recipe. It's easiest to make it the child friendly way when you add sweet corn and cherry tomatoes. However, this particular version is slightly altered to cater to more mature palates, thanks to the addition of sun-dried tomatoes and jalapenos. This makes it more appealing to the adults at a party. Do give it a try and don't forget to tag #saffronbowl with your own creation of this recipe.
4 cups cooked pasta of any shape (durum wheat, glutenfree, brown)
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow bell pepper
1 small finely chopped onion
10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
4-5 slices sun-dried tomatoes, chopped fine
4-5 jalapeño peppers, chopped fine
10 Basil leaves, kept whole or chopped
In a large bowl, combine the pasta and the fresh veggies. Mix in the key ingredients ( sun-dried tomatoes, jalapenos and basil) along with the rest of the ingredients and toss them well. Just before serving, add the dressing to the salad and mix them all together.
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp warm water
2 tbsp granulated sugar (non vegans can substitute with honey)
1 tsp Himalayan salt
1 tsp coarsely ground pepper
3 tsp Italian dry herb mix (parsley, basil, oregano, thyme and rosemary)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Combine all ingredients together in a small mixing bowl and stir until well combined. Taste and add additional apple cider vinegar if needed. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use and stir well before serving.
Tip- If you are making this for kids feel free to add sweet corn or any other veggies your kids adore (the more colourful the better). Make sure you completely avoid jalapenos when you make the child friendly version. Olives are also a wonderful addition to this pasta. The main reason the veggies are cut tiny is 'cuz it's easier to take spoonfuls into the mouth. I love seeing basil as it is, but you can chop it up finely too, since it's a part of the garnish.