Monday, September 2, 2013

Green Bean and Whole-grain Penne Salad

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  • 1 1/2 pounds green beans, stems trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-in. lengths
  • 16 ounces whole-grain penne, rotini, rotelle, or fusilli pasta
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise 
  • About 1/3 lb. Roquefort cheese
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons each finely chopped flat-leaf parsley and finely chopped chives
  • 5 crisply cooked thick slices bacon, crumbled 
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • Salt 

1. Bring 2 large pots of salted water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice and cold water. In one pot, boil green beans 3 minutes; drain and plunge in ice water to stop cooking. In the other, cook pasta until tender to the bite, 9 to 12 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse thoroughly under cold water until completely cool (see Notes).
2. In a food processor, pulse mayonnaise, Roquefort, and vinegar until well combined but still slightly chunky.
3. In a large bowl, toss together pasta, green beans, Roquefort dressing, parsley, chives, bacon, and pepper until pasta is well coated. Season with salt to taste.

Note:Ingredients can be prepped and pasta cooked a day ahead of time and chilled (add 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil to the cooked pasta). Toss everything together just before serving. The dressing can be made ahead too; if it thickens, thin it with a little more vinegar or even milk.

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