Friday, August 24, 2007

Pasta Salad with Blue Cheese, Walnuts and Spinach

Since it has been so gosh darn hot around here lately, I'm trying to come up with meals that won't heat up the kitchen. This one seemed to fit the bill. The original recipe called for arugula, but I wanted to use up the baby spinach in the refrigerator so I used that instead.

The recipe says it serves 4, but my husband actually laughed when I told him that. Maybe as a side dish, but not as a main dish. We were still hungry after we ate the whole pot so I had to make an evening snack. If I make this again, I would definitely serve it as a side dish to grilled chicken or something. It was not very filling at all! But it was really tasty.

Pasta Salad with Blue Cheese, Walnuts and Spinach
(I don't remember the source- maybe

2 T chopped walnuts
1/2 t salt
6 oz uncooked farfalle
2 c baby arugula (I used spinach)
2 T fresh chives, minced
1 c grape tomatoes, halved
1 T white wine vinegar
1 T olive oil
1/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
3 T blue cheese

Place walnuts in a small, heavy-bottomed skillet. Toast nuts over medium high heat until lightly browned, shaking skillet frequently, about 1-2 minutes; remove from skillet and set aside. Bring 3 quarts water and 1/2 t salt to a boil in a large pot. Stir in pasta and cook until tender; remove 1 T of pasta cooking water and reserve for later. Drain pasta and place in a large serving bowl; immediately add arugula and toss well. Cover bowl with a lid or tight fitting plastic wrap; set aside until arugula is limp, about 5 minutes. Stir in chives and tomatoes. Stir together vinegar, oil, reserved pasta water, remaining 1/4 t salt and pepper in a cup. Pour dressing over pasta salad and toss well; sprinkle with blue cheese and walnuts.

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