Sunday, July 5, 2009

Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad, it's a good thing. Sorry, I channel Martha from time to time, I get it from my sister. I love pasta salad in the summer, it's cold, it's crunchy and you get different delicious flavors in every bite. It has multiple personalities, like Cybil.

I can't say I have some great original recipe for Pasta Salad. Up until now it has consisted of boiling pasta, chopping up whatever veggies I have on hand and dumping Wishbone Italian Salad Dressing on it. But I have run across a few tips that have bumped it up a notch.

Pasta is like potatoes in the way that it's very absorbent while hot. If you dress a pasta salad cold, it just won't have as much flavor. I always dress mine while hot, so that the hot pasta soaks up some of the dressing as it cools. But I don't add my veggies until it has cooled down, I want my veggies crisp, so I don't want them to be softened by the hot pasta. I dump my warm pasta in a Ziploc bag with about 1/4-1/2 cup dressing, depends on if I've cooked the whole package of pasta or just 1/2. Then throw that into the fridge to cool. Once cool I transfer it to a bowl add whatever veggies I'm in the mood for. My favorites are tomatoes, cucumbers, red and green peppers, red onions, black olives, broccoli. If you want to make it more of a main dish add some salami, pepperoni and chunked mozzarella. Then add more salad dressing.

The second addition of salad dressing is where I changed it. This time when I added about of 1/4 cup of additional Italian dressing I mixed it with 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise and about 1/4 tsp of pepper. It gave it a little creamier texture and made the dressing adhere to the pasta better in my opinion. Since it was only a tablespoon it didn't overpower the Italian dressing.

I even used whole wheat Rotini this time. When I first tasted it after cooking, I'll have to admit my first reaction was gak, yucko, blehck, but I continued on because The Little Buddy said he would eat it. Something has to be pretty bad for him not to eat it. But after everything was put together and it was chilled, Yum. I may have to investigate this whole wheat pasta thing further.

Check out Gayle at The Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap for more Recipe ideas

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July,


Mary said...

This salad is just perfect for warm days. Especially if you make it in the morning before the heat of the day sets in.

Dawn said...

Great tips. I never thought abut dressing it while hot or adding mayo.