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Ensalata Parlez Vous Francais

Just in time for spring, Chef Bruno whips up a zesty pasta salad with homemade French dressing.

Chef Bruno enjoys a visit with his friends Antonio and Marina Colandrea, owners of Marina's Pizza in Tampa, Florida.

Hello to all of my readers! During a recent trip to Las Vegas, I ran into a French friend of mine that I’d previously met at a pizza show in Italy. Our conversation inspired me to come up with a new recipe. And since we’re heading into springtime and many of us are taking a break from heavier foods, I wanted it to keep it light, healthy and very easy to make.

I call it Ensalata Parlez Vous Francais, and it’s exactly what it sounds like. Add this delicious pasta salad as a special to your restaurant menu, and your customers will love it. I know my wife does!



Ingredients for French Dressing:

Juice from 2 lemons
4 tbsp. wine vinegar
1½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. French mustard
2 tsp. brown sugar (optional)
¾ c. olive oil

Pour lemon juice, vinegar, salt, pepper, mustard and sugar into a jug. Whisk the mixture with a fork until evenly blended. Slowly work the oil into the mixture. Shake ingredients together in a liquidizer or blender and blend for a few seconds. Shake in a screw-top jar and store in refrigerator for 2 hours before using. Makes about 1 pint.

Ingredients for Salad:

4 oz. Italian anelletti pasta or tortellini
1 medium red pepper
2 oz. black olives
3 tbsp. chopped parsley
4 tbsp. French dressing
1 fresh garlic clove
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook anelletti pasta rings in boiling water for 15 minutes until tender. Drain and rinse in cold water. Dice red peppers and place in salad bowl with pasta. Add olives and parsley to pasta. Mix in French dressing with garlic and pour over salad. Mix well. Adjust seasoning to taste.

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