Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pasta Salad with Cannellini Beans and Cherry Tomato Confit

On Sunday, the Adorable Monster had a playdate, and I think he's in love! My BDFF, Jen G., came over with her doggie, Sammy. The Monster took to Sammy right away, following him around in adoration! While the dogs romped, I made a lovely pasta salad lunch for us to eat on the porch. The dish turned out so delicious, I decided I had to share it with all the divas everywhere!

The two keys to the dish are the cannellini beans made from scratch and the tomato confit! Regularly, when I'm soaking or making white beans for a recipe, such as DD's Braised Cassoulet (click here), I'll throw an extra cup on the stove and cook them to use later. The beans will keep in the fridge for days and are great for tossing into a dish like this pasta salad! In a pinch, you can always substitute canned white beans. For the tomato confit, I roasted gorgeous organic heirloom cherry tomatoes that have been available in the marketplace recently, distilling their sweet, acidic flavor perfectly. This pasta salad is hearty enough to be a stand alone meal, especially when paired with mixed greens. For my lunch, I served rustic prosciutto and turkey sandwiches with a whole grain mustard and raw milk goat cheese. The meal, combined with the unseasonably warm, eighty degree weather, made for an idyllic Sunday afternoon!

Sammy and the Adorable Monster

Domestic Diva's Pasta Salad with Cannellini Beans and Cherry Tomato Confit

Pasta Salad Ingredients:
2 cups pasta cooked
(I used a spelt flour rotini)
1 cup cannellini or other white beans cooked or canned and rinsed
1/2 cup cherry tomato confit
(see ingredients and recipe below)
1/2 cup bell pepper
2 tbsp capers
1/4 cup shallots
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp tarragon
1 tbsp Italian parsley
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp good olive oil
salt and pepper

Tomato Confit Ingredients:
1 cup cherry tomatoes
sliced in half
1 tsp thyme
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove
salt and pepper

Tomato Confit Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a pyrex dish, arrange the halved cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with the garlic and thyme, and salt and pepper to taste.

Roast the tomatoes in the oven for 30 minutes, or until nicely cooked. Reserve the tomatoes and their juices for the pasta salad.

Pasta Salad Directions:

In a large bowl, place the vegetables.

Then, top with the beans and pasta. Drizzle with the olive oil and lemon juice, tossing to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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