Pasta Pistachio Salad

Pasta Pistachio Salad is one of those dishes that nut lovers adore. High in protein and even higher on the taste scale, this pasta salad recipe is simple to prepare and easy to put together. It can also be arranged as a colorful salad when entertaining guests if you use a mixture of bell pepper(capsicum)colors. Submitted by David McCarthy, Australia

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked cut macaroni or shell pasta
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup low fat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk
  • 2 Tbsp tarragon white wine vinegar
  • 2-3 medium garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped natural pistachio nuts
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 3 large bell peppers (capsicum) - red, green, yellow, or orange (Use two or three colors to make the finished dish more attractive.)

Method

Drop pasta into 2-quarts boiling water, cover and return to boil.

Boil gently 7-8 minutes or until tender.

Drain and rinse with cold water to cool.

Mix mayonnaise, yogurt, milk, vinegar, and garlic in medium bowl.

Add pasta and toss lightly to blend.

Chill until ready to serve.

Roast peppers on grill or under broiler. To grill, place whole pepper on grill over medium coals.

Grill, turning as needed, for 15 minutes or until skin is blackened.

If broiling, place peppers in shallow pan and broil 3 inches from heat, turning as needed, for 15-25 minutes or until skin is blackened.

While hot, place grilled or roasted peppers in plastic bag and allow to steam for 15 minutes.

Peel, stem, seed and cut in thick slices.

Remove basil leaves from stems, reserving 6-8 sprigs for garnish. Stack remaining leaves and slice crosswise in narrow strips.

Just before serving, add 1/2 cup basil strips and pistachios (reserve 2 Tbsp) to pasta; stir to mix.

Spoon salad onto serving platter; surround with peppers and reserved basil leaves.

Sprinkle with remaining pistachios.

Serves 4.

Variations

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