Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cold Pasta Salad

With a ritual of late lunch on the weekends, I decided to prepare this for my Saturday dinner, a meal  that's not heavy and yet filling. Easy to prepare. And this time I used wholewheat pasta which is healthier and also doesn't really become mushy like the regular one might.

For preparing pasta, you need to cook the pasta first. (See below on how to cook pasta). Pasta doubles in quantity when cooked. I used one cup of penne pasta for this preparation for two. You can use other varieties of pasta too.
  1. Very finely chopped half onion & half capsicum,10 olives sliced, 10 jalapenos sliced, 1 small carrot grated and 1/4 cup of cooked American sweet corn.
  2. One garlic pod, crushed. Use one small pod or else the smell can be overpowering.
  3. Half cup mayonnaise
  4. 1/4 tsp lemon juice or 1 tbsp yoghurt
  5. 1 tbsp vinegar
  6. 1 tsp olive oil
  7. 1 tbsp sugar
  8. 1/4 tsp pepper
  9. 1/2 tsp oregano 
  10. 1/4 cup of grated cheese. (The cheese suited best for this is Parmesan cheese. I used Gouda cheese this time as I ran out of  Parmesan cheese.This comes closest to Parmesan cheese in taste)
  11. 1 tsp salt
Mix all the above. Refrigerate for at least six hours before serving. Best eaten cold.

Tips for cooking pasta: Cooking the pasta can be tricky. If it is allowed to cook for too long, it tears and turns mushy. If undercooked, the center remains white and hard. I have found a trick to cook this the right way. Put the pasta in the pressure cooker and even before the first whistle emits, turn it off. The pressure ensures that the pasta is cooked though. The cooker cools down quickly too. Drain the pasta in a colander and run water over it. By running water, two things happen: it stops further cooking; second, by removing the starch, you ensure that the pasta doesn't stick to each other