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This Will End Up Being a Regular Request

Right around this time of year it always seems like I start smelling neighborhood barbeques on my way home from work.

It doesn't seem to matter that it's only 60 degrees...if it's springtime in the PWN and the sun is (kinda) out, it's time to grill.

I came up with the super easy pasta recipe back in my social worker days as something to bring to work cookouts. What is (and isn't) in it is because:

* I wanted to use things I already had on hand.

* I reeeeeaaally dislike mayonnaise-based pasta salads.

* I needed something that didn't require refrigeration.

Now, whenever I make it I always hear, "Hey! Cort's made her pasta salad!" "I was HOPING you were gonna make this, but a didn't want to ask...."

This pasta is the ULTIMATE side dish for anything BBQ, from chicken to burgers to steaks.

This salad is perfect for your non-meat eaters....this sucker is hearty enough to be a meal on it's own.

It's accidentally vegan, I promise you won't miss the cheese at all.

It's not heavy and packs a HUGE flavor punch.

Swapping out traditional penne for a gluten-free pasta is always an option.

Trust me, once you'll make this you'll get requests for this from now until the end of time. It's a darn good thing it's EASY!


Penne Pasta Salad


One box Penne Pasta

1/2+ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 small containers Grape Tomatoes

1 Large Container Fresh Basil

6+ Garlic Cloves, pressed

2 tbsp Salt & Pepper to taste

Fill large pot with water, cover, bring to a boil; add pasta and cook until al dente.

While waiting for water to boil & pasta to cook, put 6 (or more) pressed garlic cloves in a large bowl; add olive oil, salt, pepper, and stir.

Slice grape tomatoes lengthwise and add to bowl; toss.

Remove basil leaves from stem, leaving the top of one bunch together (set that aside).

Chiffionade the basil, add to bowl and toss.

Drain pasta when ready and rinse; add to hot pasta to bowl and toss everything together.

Taste salad and adjust salt and pepper as needed; let sit for 1-2 hours on the counter, cover and occasionally toss to continue to combine flavors.

Garnish with the reserve basil bunch, salad is best served at room temperature.

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