Crunchy Pasta Salad


"Sometimes the best of you comes out when you trust your gut.

And, when I say gut, I really mean a growling tummy.

It's amazing how hunger can bring out the best of us...

even if it's a plan bowl of pasta"

This salad was purely designed by chance: It started one day when I found myself frowning at this bowl of Fusilli pasta wondering what could be a quick fix for dinner. I opened my dry pantry and some tinned food caught my attention. Hmmm, what if? And just like that, I ended up pouring a tin of peas, sliced mushrooms, corn, chickpeas with some chopped red and green pepper. It’s a super simple salad for one that’s short on time, that has a lot to bite into and makes sure you still have a bowl of salad for the hosting table.

Servings: 2 persons

Ingredients

1 cup Fusilli pasta, boiled to al dente

½ cup chopped and green bell peppers

½ cup sweet corn kernels

½ cup tinned sliced mushrooms

½ cup tinned peas

½ cup tinned chickpeas

4 to 5 cherry tomatoes, sliced

1 spring onion, finely chopped

handful baby spinach leaves, rinsed

For the dressing

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 lime, juice squeezed

pinch red chilli flakes

pinch dried basil

pinch dried oregano

salt and ground pepper, for seasoning

Method

  1. Begin to open the tinned ingredients, transfer to a strainer and rinse well under running water. Set aside so the water drains completely.

  2. In the meanwhile, in a big bowl, add in the boiled and drained pasta.

  3. Next add in the tinned ingredients, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers and spring onions. Gently toss the ingredients together.

  4. Making the dressing: Add all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk well.

  5. Finishing the salad: Add in the spinach leaves, drizzle the dressing and give the salad a good toss right before serving.

Skill tip: Al dente is what the Italians refer to ‘slightly firm or to bite’. It’s how pasta should be cooked, not under or over done but just the right firmness to bite into. One way to check this is to single out a pasta from a boiling pot of water and bite it. If you can still see an ever-so-slight darker centre then it’s time to take the pasta off the heat and rinse under cold or room temperature water (which stops the cooking process).

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© 2020  by delna prakashan

Dubai, United Arab Emirates