Italian Style Pasta Salad

We love this delicious, summery salad. I have tomatoes, peppers, parsley and basil in pots in my patio garden, so I can make this salad from late June until frost. You can use wine vinegar instead of Balsamic vinegar, but if you haven’t tried the Balsamic vinegar, this salad is a good reason to try it.

Italian Salad
8 ounces Pasta -- Farfale or small shells
1/2 cup Olive Oil
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 ounces fresh parsley and basil leaves -- loosely packed, washed
2 cloves garlic -- crushed
1 teaspoon oregano, to taste
1 can Black Olives -- halved
Salt and freshly ground pepper -- to taste
2 large Tomatoes -- seeded & chopped
2 large green pepper -- chopped
4 ounces monterey jack cheese -- cubed
2 ounces Parmesan Cheese -- shredded

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain well.
Meanwhile, mince basil and parsley in food processor. Add oil, vindgar, garlic and oregano.
Toss pasta with dressing; toss in peppers, tomatoes, cheeses and olives; season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cover and let sit at room temperature up to 2 hours or cover and refrigerate. Toss again before serving.
Cost Summer 2010: $4.51 or 57¢ per serving if you use garden tomatoes, peppers, parsley and basil.
8 Servings            Yield: "2 quarts"
Per Serving : 338 Calories; 21g Fat (54.3% calories from fat); 11g Protein; 28g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 18mg Cholesterol; 219mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 3 1/2 Fat.

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