15 July 2010

Pasta Salad!

I'll talk about chocolate some other time. Today, I actually felt like cooking so I made lunch. There are actually only 17 pieces of penne left. This is amazing because there are always tons of leftovers. [I mean, we always have leftover pasta and rice. No matter what.] Plus, my mum and brother genuinely like[d] what I made today though my brother didn't like the pickles part.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I found this recipe and the pictures were really pretty, so I decided to emulate it. In truth, I have never really had legit pasta salad. Okay, in year 7 and 8 there were these days I bought macaroni + mayo + tuna, which I suppose constitutes pasta salad. However, today's salad was LEGIT!
Tweaking The Luna Cafe's ingredients and method...

Stuff you need:
1 box/lb of penne
A chunk of frozen cut vegetables from an even larger chunk of frozen vegetables.
0.5 cups of cut up pickles
1 red bell pepper

1.5 cups mayo
0.5 cups low-fat milk
3 tbsp vinegar
Juice of one lemon
Pepper, salt, garlic powder [a LOT!]
1 big spoon of mustard.
1. I think the ingenuity of The Luna Cafe was that the boiling water used to cook the vegetables was then used to cook the pasta, because the vegetables were taken out using a strainer. I honestly think this is SUCH a cool idea.
2. Boil vegetables until they are soft and look cooked.
3. Make pasta and drain and let it sit there until it cools down. Don't use too much water draining it. While the pasta is cooking, cut pickles and red bell pepper.
4. Mix all the stuff in the dressing ingredients list.
5. Mix everything together.

Yes, the dressing does look rather unappetising. I just put it here so that you know you're doing the right thing. The powdery stuff is garlic powder since we don't have actual garlic.
The dressing looks delectable now :P

By this time, the pasta salad actually tasted good, except that there was wayyyy too much dressing. I somehow managed to coat all the pasta and vegetables using just half the dressing. I ended up dumping the other half in anyway, though, because, like chocolate, I suppose you can't have "too much". Though, apparently semolina likes to soak up liquid, so right now, 4 hours later, the liquid has, er, apparently decreased. I can't really tell, since there are only 16.5 pieces of penne left.

I just taste tested half a piece of penne and I have to say that this time, the penne piece tastes like it was made with the soury-fatty dressing INSIDE the semolina. Earlier, when it was just cold, you could clearly distinguish between the pasta and the dressing. Now, the dressing and pasta have formed a glutinous-y conglomeration of awesomeness. An analogy would be
bread in a pan + egg in a pan = fried egg on toast.
bread soaked in egg overnight = eggy bread [more commonly known as "French toast" in the U.S]

This was delicious pasta salad, since you could definitely taste a sourness and tangy-ness that comes only in PASTA salads! In retrospect, if I made the dressing more vinegar based rather than mayo based, I probably would get something completely different, [vinaigrettey salad?] which I would like to try out actually, since it would be healthier. [NEVER, EVER, EVER, use low fat or fat free mayo. It's crap in a jar. No kidding.]

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