This isn’t your normal pasta salad.
You know the kind – the classic pasta salad I grew up with was either covered with black olives and Italian dressing or peppers and other veggies and coated with a mayo-based dressing.
But the best thing about pasta salad is that you can make it whatever you want. And last week, I wanted Middle Eastern.
After spicing it up in Richmond with 16 flavors of hummus and a new spice kit of my own, I couldn’t help but throw some new-to-me flavors into this pasta salad.
One spice mix we tried was a Zatar seasoning. Most Zatar seasonings are a mix of thyme, oregano, marjoram, toasted sesame seeds, salt and sometimes sumac. If you haven’t tried it before, here’s the perfect excuse to go buy some! It may have taken me almost 30 years to try zatar, but you can bet I’ll be using it regularly from now on. And I have an almost unhealthy love for sumac now – have you tried it?! It’s so tart and tangy and salty. I want to put it on everything.
With summer right around the corner, pasta salads are about to be popping up everywhere. They’re the expected dish of picnics and fellowships and potlucks. But you don’t have to bring the same recipe with you every time.
Switch it up. Add a new veggie. Try some new seasonings. Swap out your mayo dressing for hummus (I did – and it’s the best idea ever).
If you’re looking for some new pasta salad ideas and recipes, Dreamfields has you covered – this is their 3rd year of the Pastapalooza which is all about the ultimate side dish of summer: pasta salads. So try something new, throw out your usual recipe, and see what you can come up with this summer.
Want to win a case of Dreamfields so you can make this pasta salad – or your own version – this summer? Dreamfields is giving one of you fantastic readers a case of their fabulous pasta! The giveaway will end Friday, June 14, 2013 at noon central. Good Luck!
to enter do one or all of the following (each comment acts as an entry):
- Visit the Dreamfields website, look around, find a pasta recipe you would like to make, and comeback here and leave a comment telling me which one you chose.
- Follow @HealthyPasta on Twitter
- Follow Dreamfields on Facebook
- Follow Dreamfields on Pinterest
- Follow BranAppetit on Facebook or Twitter
* For #2-5, you must leave a comment stating you followed for the entry to be valid.
Zatar Spiced Chicken and Pasta Salad
Makes: 6 servings
- 1 and 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 3 Tbsp zatar spice mix, divided
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 cups Dreamfields Penne Pasta
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas
- 1/2 cup olives, sliced
- 1/2 cup hummus
- 1/4 parsley, chopped
- Place a large pot of water over high heat. Once the water has come to a rolling boil, add some salt and the pasta. Lower the heat to medium and let the pasta cook, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes until the pasta is cooked. Drain the pasta and pour it back into the pot; set the pasta aside until you’re ready to put everything together.
- Cut the chicken into 6 equal pieces, or as close as possible, so they cook in the same time. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with 2 tablespoons of the zatar spice mix, salt, and pepper and set the chicken aside.
- Place a skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the chicken to the skillet (in batches, if you need to) and cook, 5-6 minutes on each side until the chicken is browned and cooked through.
- Once all your chicken is cooked, set it aside on a plate.
- Add the sliced zucchini to the skillet and cook 4-5 minutes until the zucchini is tender. Toss in the tomato and cook for another 4-5 minutes.
- Pour the zucchini and tomato mixture into the cooked pasta. Add in the last tablespoon of zatar spice mix, chickpeas, sliced olives, hummus, and parsley and stir everything together.
- Serve the pasta salad topped with a piece of chicken.
This is a sponsored post, but all opinions and recipes are my own, as always.