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Pasta Party Salad

Pasta Party SaladThis festive pasta salad is perfect for your next party, potluck or picnic.

Recipe Ingredients:

6 ounces cut macaroni or shell pasta (2 cups dry)
1/2 cup nonfat mayonnaise
1/2 cup nonfat milk
2 tablespoons tarragon white wine vinegar
2 to 3 medium garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced
1/2 cup chopped California pistachios
1 bunch fresh basil
3 medium (6 ounces each) bell peppers (red, green, yellow or orange)

Cooking Directions:

  1. Drop pasta into 2 quarts boiling water, cover and return to boil. Boil gently 7 to 8 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool. Mix mayonnaise, milk, vinegar and garlic in medium bowl. Add pasta and toss lightly to blend. Chill until ready to serve.
  2. Roast peppers on grill or under broiler. To grill, place whole peppers on grill over medium coals. Grill, turning as needed, for 15 minutes or until skin is blackened. If broiling, place peppers in shallow pan and broil 3 inches from heat, turning as needed, for 15 to 25 minutes or until skin is blackened. While hot, place grilled or roasted peppers in plastic bag and allow to steam for 15 minutes. Peel, stem, seed and cut in thick slices.
  3. Remove basil leaves from stems, reserving 6 to 8 sprigs for garnish. Stack remaining leaves and slice crosswise in narrow strips. Just before serving, add 1/2 cup basil strips and pistachios (reserve 2 tablespoons) to pasta; stir to mix. Spoon pasta onto serving platter; surround with peppers and reserved basil sprigs. Sprinkle with remaining pistachios.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of the California Pistachio Commission.