Craig here, giving Nija a break from her intense week of blogging. Thought we might share our pasta salad recipe with our readership. I originally came up with this recipe as an attempt to satisfy Nija's craving for the Brick Store's old pasta salad, but every time I make it it becomes less and less like the original. In case you're ever puzzled as to what kind of decent food to bring on a picnic, give this a shot. We've enjoyed it at some of Sydney's finest greenspaces but have decided to name it:
7th Anniversary Royal National Park Pasta Salad (Vegan)
(If you can't find Royal National Park, any high-quality park will make a fine substitute.)
3C dry pasta (like macaroni, penne, ziti, etc)
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
4-5 sundried tomatoes
1 tbs tomato paste
1 tbs tahini
1 tbs nutritional yeast
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
dash of lemon juice
salt & pepper
1 small handful fresh basil
Cook the pasta to the al dente stage. Drain in a colander, toss with some oil and set aside.
If the sundried tomatoes are the dry type, soak for a few minutes in hot water to soften them up. If they're oily, skip the hot water step. Drain (if applicable) and dice the tomatoes.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a medium-sized pan over medium heat. Saute the garlic until fragrant and turn the heat to low. Add the diced sundried tomatoes, tomato paste, tahini, vinegar, yeast, and lemon juice. Stir to combine the ingredients and taste the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cool slightly and toss with the pasta and chopped basil leaves. If the sauce is too dry to mix well with the pasta, add more oil.
Serve at room-temperature to 2-4 friends and loved ones in the middle of nowhere.