Recently I wrote about the graduation Top Chef-esque challenge I had in Traverse City, Michigan for my husband’s daughter’s high school graduation party. She had given me a list of foods that I was attempting to incorporate into the menu, amongst which was fresh fruit and pasta. When in a local grocery store on an ingredient recon mission, I happened to mention the list to the wine manager and he said they had a nice blueberry balsamic that would be great tossed with pasta. That was all the inspiration I needed.
As often is the case, I don’t have exact measurements for this recipe but more of a description of how mine went together to use as a jumping off point for your own creation.
Blueberry Strawberry Pasta Salad
I started by taking a container of blueberries, washed and sorted. Place in a small saucepan, adding enough balsamic vinegar to cover. Stir in lemon zest. Place on low heat to simmer and reduce, mashing the blueberries as they became soft. Cool.
Meanwhile, I cooked a package of capellini pasta – choosing the elegant thin cut for this party atmosphere – to al dente which was basically as soon as it hit the boiling water. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking and toss with a little olive oil to keep the strands from clumping.
Mix the cooled balsamic reduction with olive oil, a generous squeeze of lemon and toss with the pasta.
To serve, I took a large fork and twirled until I had a generous helping, which I then pushed off the fork into a small clear plastic wine glass. I topped this with chopped strawberries, whole blueberries (since the ones at the store were on the small side) and a sprig of fresh mint. A small cocktail fork was stuck upright in each cup.
I’m not sure I would have thought to combine pasta and fruit but it proved to be light, refreshing and was just the unique twist that I was looking for to mark this special occasion. Bon appétit!