Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I'll never grow tired of pasta salads

There is nothing fancy about pasta salads.
But if you ask me, I think that the community of pasta salads haven't gotten the credit they deserve. They are often a great way to add more vegetables to the table and if you don't use too much dressing, it's actually healthy too.

But, this blog is not about health, it's all about taste.
This pasta salad is one of the few I've had that doesn't use a vinaigrette, but a yogurt dressing. The yogurt adds a zing to this dish that makes the pasta less boring.
You can basically add whatever vegetables you want to this salad, but do not omit the spring onions, the cashew nuts or the rucola. Those three ingredients are definitely necessary for the flavor.

To make this pasta salad, you'll need:

1/4 pounds of pasta (any short pasta will do)
4-5 spring onions
1 cup champignon mushrooms
8-10 red cherry tomatoes
1 bunch of green asparagus
3 tablespoons unsalted cashew nuts
a handful of rucola
2 tablespoons of canola oil

For the dressing:

1/2 cup unflavored yogurt
1 tablespoon chili sauce (I used Heinz chili sauce)
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of sweet paprika powder
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package.

Mix the ingredients for the dressing and set aside.

Chop the spring onions, quarter the champignoins and cut the asparagus into 1/2 inch pieces.

Heat a couple of tablespoons of canola oil in a pan. Add the onions, the asparagus and mushrooms. Saute over medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Add tomatoes and cashew nuts and saute for another 5-6 minutes.

Drain the pasta in a lolander. Mix the sauteed vegetables with the pasta in a big bowl. Add half of the rucola and the salad dressing. Mix well. Sprinkle the rest of the rucola on top just before serving.

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