I am calling this “Leonor’s Pasta Salad,” named after my close friend Leonor, who I was lucky enough to meet very soon after moving to Rochester. For our first 3.5 years, Mr. Batch and I have enjoyed spending time with Leonor and her husband over many a dinner, brunch/lunch, and outing to explore this town that has been new to us all. Around year 2, a little munchkin joined their mix, and we’ve loved watching her grow and watching Leonor and her husband become parents.
Over one such lunch, Leonor and I discovered a common love for razor clams. She surprised me with a gift of several tins of them, imported from her home country of Spain.
Leonor, her husband and their adorable little munchkin moved away from Rochester earlier this summer, and it has been a bittersweet parting. Mr. Batch and I are thrilled that they are moving for a *fantastic* job opportunity elsewhere, but selfishly sad that our get-togethers will be a little less frequent. 😉
When they left Rochester, Leonor kindly passed along the contents of her kitchen, including a pound of pasta that I used to make this salad — combined with the tins of razor clams. Hence, “Leonor’s Pasta Salad:”
- 1 pound pasta — shape is up to you — I used Orecchiette (“little ears”) and I like the shape and texture for this salad.
Cook, according to package directions. Once cooked and drained, toss with a bit of olive oil, to keep pasta from sticking together.
- 2 or 3 roasted zucchini and/or summer squash — prepped using the directions in Roasted Summer Veggies
- 1 sweet onion, small-diced
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup capers, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup jarred marinated artichokes, sliced
- 20 – 25 leaves of fresh mint, sliced
- 10-15 leaves of fresh basil, sliced
- Optional: 3 tins of chopped clams (or razor clams, that you dice into small pieces). Or any type of seafood such as sardines or mackerel … or protein such as chicken … or just shaved parmesan or asiago cheese.
Add all of the above into cooled pasta, and stir to combine.
I still had some of the Ken’s Steakhouse Greek Salad Dressing left from our week at the lake when I made Lisa’s Pasta Salad Using Raviolis, so I used-up the rest of that on my batch of Leonor’s Pasta Salad — approx 1/2 cup of bottled vinaigrette. You could certainly make your own vinaigrette / dressing to add.
- Some of the oil from the jar of marinated artichokes
- Zest of 1/2 of a lemon, chopped (or micro-planed)
- Juice of half of a lemon
I added all of the above for some extra flavor and zing to the pasta salad.
Adjust seasonings with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. This easily yielded 10 servings, so this is a wonderful dish to take to a picnic or potluck.