Sunday, July 15, 2012

Catalina Pasta Salad

Remember Catalina Dressing?  This is the original.  Not sickly sweet, not full of preservatives, not suffering from tired old herbs.  This Catalina Dressing is zesty with bright tomato, onion and lemony flavors with just a hint of honey for balance.  Tasters loved this and happy to learn there is only 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the entire jar of dressing. 

It is perfect over pasta salads with chick peas, chunks of black olive, red bell pepper, chopped celery, cucumber and carrot strips.   Toss up a batch for pasta salad and save a little dressing for your next green salad.  It is a great match for the cucumbers coming out of gardens now. 

The key to Catalina Dressing is grated onion.  Grating onion is a cool technique that garners a distinctive sweet onion flavor and adds creamy texture to the dressing.  Simply cut a sweet onion, like Vidalia, in quarters and draw it over a cheese grater's large holes.  Very fast and effective way to get both juice and pulp.

Catalina Dressing
Makes about 10 ounces

1 8-oz can plain tomato sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 Vidalia onion, grated
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon ketchup
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Mix all ingredients together and toss with your favorite pasta salad ingredients.  Allow pasta salad to cool completely before serving.

Catalina Dressing will keep in the refrigerator for 5 days.

This recipe was inspired by the recipe provided by My Vegan Cookbook blog but cuts the sweet ingredients back and replaces sugar with honey.