Mix-and-Match Pasta Salad | Pika Chakula

Mix-and-Match Pasta Salad

2013-07-18
1. Choose a PastaBring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook 1/2 pound of any of these pastas as the label directs; drain and rinse under cold water. Transfer to a large bowl.

2. Pick a Protein (Optional)

Add 1 cup of any of these ingredients, if desired.

Chicken, cooked and chopped

Steak, cooked and chopped

Ham or salami, cubed

Roast beef, chopped

Canned tuna, drained and flaked

Lump crabmeat, picked over

Shrimp, cooked and chopped

Eggs, hard-boiled and chopped

Baked tofu, chopped

3. Pick Your Vegetables
Add 2 of these vegetables or beans, 1 cup each. (To blanch vegetables, boil until crisp-tender, then drain and cool in ice water.)

Broccoli florets, blanched

Corn kernels, blanched

Carrots, shredded

Cherry tomatoes, halved

Green beans, blanched and chopped

Frozen peas or snap peas, blanched

Celery, sliced

Cucumber, diced

Red onion, diced

Bell pepper, diced

Asparagus, blanched and chopped

Canned chickpeas or white beans, drained and rinsed

4. Pick a Mix-In
Add 1/3 cup of any of these ingredients.

Sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

Roasted red peppers, chopped

Olives, pitted and chopped

Any cheese, shredded or crumbled

Any nut, toasted and chopped

Bacon, cooked and crumbled

5. Dress the Salad
Make one of these dressings, then pour over the pasta salad and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Chill for up to 3 hours.

Vinaigrette

Whisk 1/3 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 1 minced shallot, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste.

Creamy Herb

Whisk 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 3 tablespoons sour cream, 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/2 cup chopped mixed herbs, and salt and pepper to taste.

Garlic Oil

Cook 3 thinly sliced garlic cloves and a pinch of red pepper flakes in 1/3 cup olive oil over medium heat, stirring, 3 minutes; let cool. Season with salt and pepper.

Creamy Parmesan

Mix 1/4 cup each mayonnaise and sour cream, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon finely grated garlic, 3/4 cup grated parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste.

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