Is pasta salad ever really tasty? Of course! The trick is – as always – in small interventions that together make a big difference. And we lovingly present those interventions in an overview.
7 x ideas for cool pasta salad with a twist
1. Choose a nice pasta type
You might automatically mention pasta salad in the same breath as farfalle or penne, but with more than 700 types of pasta in the world, there are plenty of nicer alternatives. Pasta varieties such as orechiette, trofie, rigatoni or casarecce, for example, immediately look a lot more exciting.
Or think of gnocchi: these dough pads are also perfect for a cold pasta salad. Perhaps best of all: use mini ravioli. In any case, always aim for bite-sized pasta that you can simply pierce with a fork, strings such as spaghetti or linguine are less convenient picnic food.
2. Don’t overcook your pasta
Whatever type of pasta you use, never overcook it. After all, over-cooked, flat pasta is something you want to avoid at all costs. Although the al dente cooking time stated on the packaging is a good guideline for this, we recommend that you never rely on it blindly.
So just to be sure, stay with the pan and test one if you suspect the pasta is nicely al dente. If so, drain the pasta immediately and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
3. Keep it lubricated
Pasta salads that sit in the fridge for a long time tend to dry out into a caked lump. Therefore, choose a sauce that contains sufficient fat. Homemade pesto is of course always a good idea, but you should also look for it in other angles. Jeroen Meus, for example, has a recipe for pasta salad with almond aioli and this is also perfect to keep that pasta nicely lubricated.
Also tasty: mix the contents of a can of sardines or mackerel (of quality) with your pasta. This one also contains enough oil. Is your pasta a bit dried out after cooling? Stir everything together with a dash of olive oil and some lemon juice.
4. More vegetables than pasta
If it depends on Vanja van der Leeden , the ratio of vegetables to pasta is 2:1. A principle that we completely agree with, by the way. So be nice and generous with those peas, cherry tomatoes, grilled zucchini or any other vegetables. Not only does it make your pasta salad fresher, it also immediately provides more texture.
5. Always add something crunchy
Speaking of texture, pasta salad is always happy with a crunchy element. Chopped and roasted nuts such as pine nuts or pistachios are a good option anyway. We are also a fan of salmon eggs or vegan caviar . These are much cheaper than real caviar and just as delicious in your mouth.
6. Add leafy greens last
Are you going for a green pasta salad with lots of leafy vegetables such as arugula, spinach or lamb’s lettuce? Only add it when you take the salad out of the fridge. In this way, the leafy vegetables remain much fresher and fresh.
7. Always add fresh herbs
If there is one thing that should not be missing in pasta salad, it is fresh herbs. A good handful of basil, finely chopped dill, parsley and/or mint: you can be very generous with this.
Which herbs you choose, of course, depends a bit on the rest of the ingredients. Dill, for example, goes well with pasta salads with salmon; mint is delicious with a salad with peas and olives. Basil and parsley go well with just about everything. You don’t always have to stick to one herb: feel free to mix it up.
And finally, never forget to salt your pasta water thoroughly. Salty as the sea is the rule, as if you mean it. Wisdom!
Source: Culy by culy.nl
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