Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer Pasta Salad with Feta and Pine Nuts


I love pasta salads and summer is the perfect time to enjoy them. They are easy to put together, delicious to eat, and packed with raw vegetables that just make a pasta dish so much more nutritious. You can be really creative with a pasta salad and I never follow a recipe when I make one. I create one using a combination of vegetables in my refrigerator and nuts and herbs in my pantry! I generally use whole grain pasta for salads. It has a nuttier taste and is more chewy that adds to both taste and texture of the salad.


A pasta salad can be a complete meal, a side, or indeed great on a picnic table along with your favourite burgers, grilled vegetables, and greens! Just pack a box of it in a food safe container and place in an ice box until ready to eat! On Saturday we had beautiful weather and drove to the lake for a picnic. I made this winner of a salad for lunch. It got the thumbs up from everyone at home.

Ingredients:
1 cup penne pasta
2 soy sausages, sliced
11/2 sweet corn kernels, blanched
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 small onion, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1/4 cup cilantro, minced
Salt to taste
1 tsp red chili flakes
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Method:
  1. Cook the pasta in plenty of water with a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of oil.
  2. Remove half cup of the water from the cooked pasta, then drain the pasta and set aside.
  3. In a saucepan, add the olive oil. Throw in the onion and garlic and cook till transparent.
  4. Now add the sausage pieces and fry till they are cooked. Remove the pieces onto a plate and set aside.
  5. Add the chili flakes and the cream.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer for a couple of minutes. 
  7. Then add the water from the cooked pasta, salt to taste, black pepper, and mustard.
  8. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then turn off the heat.
  9. To assemble the salad, place the pasta, tomatoes, sweet corn kernels, cilantro, and cooked sausages in a large mixing bowl. Toss this mix.
  10. Finally add the dressing. Toss the salad ensuring that everything is well coated with the dressing.
  11. Serve immediately in large bowls with a sprinkle of pine nuts and feta cheese.
Good to Know
  • If you make this salad for a picnic, it is a good idea to add the cheese and pine nuts just before serving.
  • You can replace the fresh garlic with some dehydrated garlic powder, especially if you do not like garlic pieces in the salad.
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6 comments:

  1. nice salad with pasta and feta cheese.

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  2. Wow wat a super inviting and super filling salad.

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  3. I like this salad. Yeah you are right about whole grain pasta in salads it add a nice nutty flavour. Sometimes when I feel I need to diet, I make a whole grain pasta salsd with lot of veggies :-)

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  4. very tempting summer salad. looks very delicious

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  5. I can survive on pasta salad for days after days :) It sure is a treat for hot summer.

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Aparna @ Annarasa

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