Hye Thyme Cafe: Pasta Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Dressing

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Pasta Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Dressing

Pasta Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Dressing : Hye Thyme Cafe

Having recently made a batch of Roasted Red Pepper Pesto, since I was to be attending a cookout over the weekend, I decided to try something new and use the Pesto in a Pasta Salad. Not having made this salad before, and not being one to experiment on people outside the immediate family, I decided to make a trial run earlier in the week. That left me with a little less pesto than I would have wanted for the ginormous batch I ended up making for the cookout. Soooo, I'm posting the recipe below for a "normal" amount of pasta salad with a heartier ratio of dressing to pasta.

The other thing I noted when making the trial run was that it was super salty. The grocery stores in our area all sport olive bars, so those are the olives that I use. When making the second batch, I added some of the olives to the salad, then gave the rest a quick rinse to reduce the salty brine, and included a can of Lindsay Olives because they're not salty. You could cut back on the olives or the feta to reduce the salt, but that's no fun! I want a little of everything in each bite.  ;)

1 lb rotini pasta
3 T olive oil
3 T white balsamic vinegar
2 c mixed pitted olives
2-3 oz crumbled Feta cheese
2 oz thick-sliced pepperoni, quartered

  1. Cook the pasta in salted water to al dente; drain.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, blend the olive oil and balsamic vinegar into the pesto, to create a dressing.
  3. Toss the hot pasta with enough dressing to coat, then place it in the fridge to cool for a few minutes - you don't want to add your feta to hot pasta, but you want to use a little of the dressing to prevent the pasta from sticking/clumping together.
  4. When the pasta has cooled to the touch and sucked up the initial round of dressing, go ahead and stir in the remaining dressing, olives, feta, and pepperoni
  5. Chill until just before serving


  1. Oh my goodness, this sounds so delicious. I would probably add raw zucchini and/or cherry tomatoes instead of the the peperoni to make it vegetarian, but I'll so try this one! Thanks for sharing!

    1. When I did the "trial run," it just looked like it needed something else, so I went with the Pepperoni. It was a great addition for carnivores, but my next thought was just adding some roasted red pepper strips. Not sure I'd care for the zucchini with it, but some grape, pear, or cherry tomatoes would be great. :)


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