You may serve this while the pasta is still warm, or chill it for a couple of hours. The longer it sits, the stronger the garlic gets. Garlic Event Horizon is probably 24 hours, though some hardy souls can take it after two days. Garlic cowards reduce the garlic to 3 cloves total. Who am I kidding? Garlic cowards won’t even try it.
JENNIFER’S GARLICKY PASTA SALAD
serves 2-3 hungry people
7 oz. dry tortellini or other filled pasta, cooked & drained
6-8 oz. dry pasta such as fusilli, cooked & drained
1 large onion (sweeter the better), peeled, halved, sliced thin
2-3 large fresh ripe tomatoes, diced
1 red and/or green pepper, sliced thin
1/4 to 1/2 cup grated sharp white cheddar
Ditto fontinella cheese
Ditto romano and/or parmesan cheeses
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced or minced
1 to 2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/4 to 1/2 cup of any or all:
Sliced fresh mushrooms, sliced black olives, slightly crushed pine nuts, chopped canned Italian red peppers, and/or chopped sundried tomatoes
2 to 3 (yes, more) fat cloves of garlic, minced and then smashed
1/4 cup (yes, more) fresh basil leaves, minced tiny
Fresh cracked peppercorns to taste
1 dried red pepper pounded to a powder, or at least 1/2 t red pepper flakes
1 to 2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup strong (Spanish or Greek) olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar or other tasty vinegar
- Shake up the dressing in a jar until creamy. If you mix it early and let it sit a while, the flavors mingle better.
- Mix all of this in a large mixing bowl. If the pasta is hot, the cheese will melt a little, but that doesn’t hurt anything.
- Before serving, shake up the dressing until it’s creamy again and pour it over the salad. Mix quickly and serve.