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Pasta Salad With Asparagus

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I’m not a big fan of creamy pasta salads – in fact, pasta salads are something I rarely make.  However, pasta salads save me a lot of trouble when I haven’t really planned on something to take over to a friend’s summer barbecue, or as in this case, for a barbecue in my backyard.  Some time ago I posted another pasta salad recipe using tiny bow-tie pasta and everyone seemed to love it.

Last weekend, NYC had some gorgeous weather and a few friends decided to drop by.  Hmmm….I was looking for inspiration on what to dish up with stuff from the pantry and fridge. I didn’t spend a lot of time deciding on two salads, a chickpea salad and a pasta salad, and of course, some chicken on the grill.  Some fresh corn and peppers found place on the grill too.  My favorite, the pasta salad with the tiniest little pasta, cute little stars.  I’ve no idea what it is called, but recollect buying it because it was so pretty.

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A bunch of fresh asparagus went in along with onions, fresh garlic, parsley, and red pepper flakes.  Finished it off with a drizzle of freshly squeezed lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil.  No cheese or mayo.  Sounds weird, doesn’t it?  But believe me, there were no leftovers and the pasta remaining in the bag was grabbed up by a friend for her barbecue the next day (now I have to go find some more of this cute pasta!)

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You don’t need a recipe for this, do you?  Just in case you need it, here is what I did.  Boiled a huge pot of water, added salt, and the pasta. The pasta was done in about 5 minutes.  In another pan, heated some olive oil and tossed in finely diced onions, sliced garlic, parsley, and chopped asparagus. I cut the asparagus diagonally into tiny bits to match the size of the pasta.  A huge pinch of red pepper flakes (I know, it is not used in traditional pasta salads), but I’ve rarely done anything traditionally. Tossed the warm pasta right in with a couple of tablespoons of pasta water.  Easy and simple, yet delicious.  I hope you try it out.

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Posted by on June 15, 2013 in General, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

 

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Pasta Salad with Cranberries and Peas

Pasta salads are one of the very easy and convenient mini meals that are appealing to children and adults.  Pasta, of course, is the main player in the game.  Most pasta salads are creamy and heavy.  I like my pasta salads light and so you’ll find no creamy dressing holding the salad together.  And, somehow I find the pasta salads are usually made with larger pasta.  I found tiny bow-tie pasta that is ideal for soups.  I began with the intention of making soup for lunch, but ended up with a pretty pasta salad, complete with green peas, cranberries, crunchy walnuts, and a very simple dressing of extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice.

The tiny pasta with peas and ruby-red cranberries will surely appeal to children.  Put this beautiful bowl of pasta salad in front of kids, and I’m sure they will want to try it.  Well, even if the kid(s) in your house doesn’t feel tempted to dig in, you should try it.  It is light, delicious, and healthy too!  Half a cup of frozen peas has only 5% of your daily value of sodium. Peas are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, thiamine (B1), iron and phosphorus. Pulses are rich in protein, carbohydrate and fiber and low in fat. Cranberries are full of antioxidants, which protect cells from damage by unstable molecules called free radicals. The health benefits of cranberries include prevention of urinary tract infection, lowering cholesterol, and cancer prevention.

Ingredients I used:

  • 1/2 cup of your favorite pasta (I used tiny bow-tie pasta)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Few simple steps:

  1. Cook pasta in salted boiling water until al dente.  Drain and keep aside.
  2. Cook peas in boiling water for about 3 minutes and set aside.
  3. Mix the olive oil and lemon juice with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper until well combined.
  4. In a bowl, toss the pasta, peas, cranberries, walnuts, parsley and mix well.
  5. Pour the dressing and let the salad rest for some time until flavors are well combined before serving.
 
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Posted by on October 26, 2011 in Recipes, Vegetarian

 

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