It's peach season again and I'm excited to update my favorite "go-to" summer salad! It's quick and easy to make, the ingredients are inexpensive so it's great for large gatherings and it's perfect for outdoor events because it contains no mayo. I have updated the pasta salad recipe to include the following: 1/4 cup thinly sliced cucumber and 1 tablespoon sauteed minced garlic. To the Peach Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe I've added 1/4 cup Ken's golden vidalia onion dressing which balances out the savory flavor with a little more sweetness.
This recipe was inspired by a picture I saw in a magazine...I'd been browsing through stacks of current magazines at my desk when I saw it. I got busy and didn't think about it again for a few days. Then, suddenly, the image of the dish came back to me and I couldn't get it off my mind--the tender pasta, fresh summer peaches, plump cherry tomatoes...so I went back to get the recipe but couldn't find it! I was sure I had seen it in a Martha Stewart magazine so I scoured every recent issue I had, went to the website several times to search and still couldn't find it. After several days of searching, I gave up and decided to try to make it without the recipe.
I ran out, got the ingredients I thought should go in the dish, made it and it was delicious but I wondered if I had missed out on something (seasoning-wise) by not having the original recipe. Well, as fate would have it, a few days after I made my version of the pasta, I found the recipe--on the back of a Taste of Home teaser cookbook! I was quite pleased to see that my judgment regarding the ingredients and seasonings wasn't off by much. The original recipe called for kalamata olives, garlic and optional slivered almonds (I would have skipped the olives and almonds anyway but I would have used the garlic). Here's my recipe:
Peach Tomato Pasta
Seasoned & Stirred by LBTurner
1/2 pound angel hair pasta (cooked, drained)
2 large fresh peaches--sliced (grilled or sauteed)
1 cup grape tomatoes
1/8 cup Thai basil leaves (or any fresh basil)
1/4 cup red onion (thinly sliced)
2 teaspoons wild porcini sea salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Peach Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/2 cup Italian dressing (I used Ken's Three Cheese Italian)
1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons peach preserves
3 tablespoons fresh peaches (finely chopped)
Prepare the peaches: Wash and slice the peaches. I used fresh freestone peaches and sliced them with my new handy, dandy peach pitter. Take 2-3 peach slices and chop them finely. Set aside for the Peach Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe above). For the remaining peach slices: if you're going to grill them, lightly grill on each side for about a minute and set aside. If you are sauteing them, heat a small skillet, add 2 teaspoons of cooking oil and saute the peaches until tender. Set aside until it's time to assemble the dish.
Prepare the Vinaigrette: In a small mixing bowl, add all ingredients except the peaches and whisk thoroughly until well blended. Add the chopped peaches and stir. Add grilled or sauteed peaches and let marinate for 5-10 minutes.
Prepare the pasta: Prepare the pasta according to package instructions (add 1 teaspoon of the wild porcini sea salt to the boiling water), drain, place in large mixing bowl, add remaining sea salt, stir and let cool slightly. You can substitute plain or any flavored sea salt for the porcini if you don't have it.
Assemble the dish: While the pasta is still slightly warm, add the vinaigrette mixture, sliced peaches, basil leaves, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Toss gently. Serve warm or chilled as a side dish or as an entree salad.
I loved this pasta recipe and will definitely make my version again but the next time, I will add the garlic! Click here to see the original peach pasta recipe.