Food Gold: Improv Pasta Salad

Posted on Mar 14th, 2011 in Food Gold by Mr. Goldbar

The key to any good pasta salad is balance. You want something rich (cheese) matched with something crunchy (pine nuts, breadcrumbs) and something acidic (tomatoes, vinegar). Then you want to add some fresh herbs to jump up the flavor. So yes, it is basically like any other salad except you have pasta instead of greens. Below is a quick version I whipped up last week using what I had lying around. Feel free to substitute cheeses and dressings, most anything will work so long as your ratios are good. This one is a bit tangy as per my personal preference but you can dial down the vinegar if you like. Go forth!

“Make It Up As You Go” Pasta Salad

– 1 lb fusulli or similar shaped pasta

– 6 ounces fresh mozzarella or buratta cheese or any soft creamy cheese

– Cup or so fresh or roasted tomatoes

– Tablespoon basil, chopped + chopped chervil if you have it

– Salt and Pepper to taste

– Pine nuts or breadcrumbs to taste

– 1 cup olive oil

– 1/2 cup red wine or balsamic vinegar

* you can also add olives, lemon juice, capers, roasted peppers if you have them.

1. Cut up your tomatoes, chop your basil and dice up your cheese.

2. Mix vinegar with olive oil to create your dressing.

3. In salted water, cook pasta until al dente, then drain. I personally like my pasta salads to be a little less firm than regular pasta dishes but do you.

4. Combine pasta with tomatoes, cheese and herbs. Add dressing. Let the whole jammer marinate in the fridge so the flavors can get to know each other. Add pine cuts and breadcrumbs before serving and that’s that.


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