This broccolini pasta salad is loaded in flavors that complement themselves beautifully. We are going to add tomatoes, broccolini, almonds and basil to cold pasta. We will then make a vinaigrette with shallots, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar and honey. The final result is finger licking good.
I used raw garlic and Dijon mustard in the dressing. If you are going to feed this to the kids you might want to omit the garlic and use regular yellow mustard in yours. The flavors are more mellow and children friendly!
You can make this pasta salad vegan if you omit the honey in the dressing.
I also used a tricolor pasta that I found at Trader Joes because I thought it would look colorful. It did. However, please feel free to use any small pasta that you prefer.
Broccolini Pasta Salad
FOR THE SALAD:
12 oz (340 grams) small pasta of your choice
8 oz (250 grams) broccolini or broccoli
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes — halved
1 cup coarsely chopped almonds
3 large or 6 small basil leaves — cut into ribbons
Wash the broccolini. Chop it all coarsely — stems and all. Don’t discard leaves or little flowers.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the chopped broccolini and cook for 1 to 2 minutes – until it is bright green. Transfer the blanched broccolini into a bowl with iced water. Use a slotted spoon so that you can cook the pasta in the same water. If you do not have one you will have to drain it and start boiling salted water again.
Bring the water to a boil, again. Add the pasta and cook as per package instructions. Drain it and wash it with cold water to stop it from cooking.
Drain the broccolini and place it in a bowl. Add the tomatoes, almonds, pasta and basil. Toss.
FOR THE DRESSING:
1 tablespoon minced shallot or red onion
1 small garlic clove
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (you can use dark as well)
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt & Pepper to taste
Smash the garlic clove with a knife. Sprinkle some salt on it and mash it with the back part of a spoon. Transfer it into a small jar.
Add the rest of the ingredients. Place the lid on the jar and shake vigorously until it is all mixed and emulsified.
Add to the pasta and toss. If you have left overs the pasta will absorb all of the dressing and you will need to make some more to doctor it. This pasta will last up to 3 days in the fridge in a closed container. Enjoy!