I first met this salad at Just Food co-op; it was the star salad of the deli offerings. Deceptively creamy and decadent looking, it actually is a very light sauce that allows the spring flavors of green onions, peas, and parsley to spark up your taste buds.
The tang of the buttermilk and the lemon along with the boldness of the raw garlic, softened by the hot pasta make this a near perfect quick dinner to pull together in practically seconds. But wait, it gets better. Literally. This dish can also be a cold salad and the flavors soak into the pasta as it chills in the refrigerator. I have brought this dish to many potlucks, and watched as people approached it thinking it was going to be just another ole creamy pasta salad and laughed with delight at their happily surprised faces once they tasted it.
In this version I added some fresh basil since we were just out of parsley. I love the flat leaf Italian parsley for its smoother taste but the basil was pretty delicious as well!
This is my entry for Presto Pasta Night, hosted by founder Ruth over at Once Upon A Feast – Every Kitchen Tells Its Stories. In case you haven’t heard of this fun weekly roundup, it is simply making a pasta dish of any type and submitting it to the person in charge of the round up for the week. Check Presto Pasta Night for how to participate and visit Once Upon a Feast – Every Kitchen Tells Its Stories tomorrow for a fantastic roundup of pasta dishes!
Garlic Lovers Pasta
1/2 lb penne pasta
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 tablespoons green peas (frozen is ok)
2-3 green scallions
3-4 fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded (stack leaves on top of each other, roll and snip or cut into strips)
1/2 cup parmesan, finely shredded
Cook pasta as directed. In large bowl combine buttermilk, mayonnaise, garlic and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. When pasta is done cooking, drain well and add to white sauce and toss well. Add parmesan cheese (you can grate it directly into the pasta at this point, using the punch holes on a box grater or pre-grated cheese.) Toss in green onions, basil and adjust for salt and pepper. Add some more of the lemon juice if you like, it brings some zing to all of the ingredients!