Last night was our Recipe Swap group meeting. Only four of us were able to come, but that did not stop us from having good conversation, lots of laughs and, of course, eating some really good food!
The theme this month was Summer Salads. We had everything from rice and pea salad with ham and Swiss cheese, pasta salad with olives and peppers dressed in Italian dressing, broccoli salad with crunchy bacon, cheese and tomatoes and I made my favorite recipe- Italian Sausage Pasta Salad. Mmmm, mmmm. It's a James Beard recipe from an old cookbook I found a long time ago. I love James Beard because he created this combination of ingredients that makes my mouth very happy.
When I'm in a hurry, I am a messy cook. If I have the time, I will clean as I go. I usually don't have time. Yesterday morning found me up at at'em early making this salad as I had to work. It was a mad rush and the result was, well, this:
But what happened afterwards was beautiful and delicious:
I could eat this for every single meal and not get tired of it. Ever. It is good once it is chilled and even better the next day. But, enough of that, I bet you want the recipe. And you shall have it! Be prepared for pasta salad heaven.
James Beard's (Fabulous) Italian Sausage Pasta Salad
6 Italian sausage links, mild or hot
1/2 pound rotini pasta
2 green peppers, cut into thinly sliced strips
1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
2 cups canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 hard-boiled eggs, quartered (optional)
3 T chopped Italian parsley (I've never put this in.)
2/3 cup olive oil
3 T red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of oregano ( fresh is lovely in this)
And, you can see in the photo, I added a few quartered small tomatoes from my garden. They don't hurt, not one bit.
Prick skins of sausages and place in a skillet and cover with water. Bring to a boil. reduce heat and poach for about a minute. Remove from water (drain pan) and slice sausages into 1/2 inch segments. Put back into drained skillet and fry until browned through.
Cook and drain pasta.
Combine sausage, pasta, onions, peppers, kidney beans (and egg and parsley if using) into a bowl.
Mix together olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper and oregano in a bowl and whisk together until combined and pour over salad. Toss together well and place in refrigerator for at least three hours. More is better.
That's it! It will be love at first bite. Trust me.