Baby Shell Pasta Salad with Calamata Olives, Roasted Fennel and Grilled Sweet Onion

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Shell pasta is seasoned with a flavorful dressing and mixed with roasted fennel and olives. Prep ahead and serve cold.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 12 ServingsServings

Ingredients

  • Salad:
  • 1 pound small pasta shells, uncooked
  • 1 1/2 cup fennel bulb, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 2 tsp. olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup plum tomatoes, diced
  • 3/4 cup Calamata olives, sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh assorted herb leaves, finely chopped (such as basil, dill or parsley) Dressing:
  • 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp. barbecue sauce
  • 2 TBSP. lime juice
  • shredded Romano cheese
  • crushed red chili peppers

Preparation

1 Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse with cold water, set aside.
2 Heat oven to 375° F. Toss garlic for dressing, fennel and onion with 2 teaspoons olive oil.
3 Spread on a cookie sheet and roast in oven until lightly browned and tender, approximately 20-30 minutes. Set aside fennel and onion.
4 n a bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, barbecue sauce and lime juice in a bowl.
5 . Squeeze garlic out of its peel, dice and whisk into dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
6 Dice onion, fennel and tomatoes and add to pasta.
7 Add olives, herbs, and dressing and toss.
8 Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
9 To serve, sprinkle with Romano cheese and crushed red chili peppers.

Source: National Pasta Association