Rotini Con Salsa Fresca

Growing up I loved pasta salad. I ate it all the time until I was about 7 or 8 years old. Then, for whatever reason, I stopped eating it. A few years ago I tried it again and was sorely disappointed. The dish I had loved so much as a child tasted horrible. The dressing, with which it was so liberally doused, was processed and gloopy, with an unpleasant saccharine high fructose corn syrup aftertaste, the pasta, soaking in this bath of bile disintegrated to become part of a gelatinous disappointment. My love for pasta salad and the memories of my childhood were ruined.

In an attempt to recapture this fond food memory I have since eaten many more pasta salads ranging from the highly disappointing to the not so bad. None, however, have reached the bar that is my memory of pasta salad, none have made me want to eat them every day straight for weeks on end. None, that is, until I took my childhood memories into my own hands and came up with this dish! This pasta salad recipe, has valiantly redeemed pasta salad and, moreover, has firmly replaced the pasta salad of my youth. In short, it has taught me once more to love the humble pasta salad in all it’s carby, tangy, delicious glory. I make this many different ways, adding vinegar, replacing mozzarella for feta cheese, adding chicken, leaving out the cheese and meat altogether and so on. The possibilities are endless which only makes me love the dish even more. One thing that doesn’t change, however, is the complete omission of store bought salad dressing. That, my friends, has been banned from my kitchen forevermore.

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Ingredients:
1/2 Lb Whole Wheat Rotini Pasta
30 Cherry tomatoes (approximately)
1 English Cucumber
1 Bunch Italian Flat Leaf Parsley
2 Tbs Capers
2 Green Onions
20 Olives (approximately)
1 Tbs Good Quality Olive Oil
2 Cloves of Garlic Minced
1 Ball of Buffalo Mozzarella (Optional)
Salt to taste

Directions:
1. Place Pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add pasta to water and cook per packet instructions.
2. Slice Cucumber in half and scrape out the seeds. Dice into a small dice. Place in large serving bowl.
3. Place tomatoes in the food processor and pulse 9-10 times until coarsely chopped. Add to large serving bowl.
4. Cut green onion into a few large pieces, place in food processor and pulse 15-20 times or until diced but not pulp. Add to large serving bowl.
5. Place Parsley into food processor and process until finely chopped. Add to large serving bowl.
6. Place Olives into food processor and pulse 7-8 times or until the olives are coarsely chopped. Add to large serving bowl.
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7. Add the garlic and olive oil and toss to combine.
8. If you are using the cheese, dice or tear it into small pieces. Add to the large serving bowl and toss to combine.
9. Add the pasta to the large serving bowl, giving it one last toss.
10. Apply to face.
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