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Sep 2, 2007 06:34 AM

Pasta salad recipes...

I am looking for a recipe for pasta salad that is not creamy, (no mayo, etc), but at the same time very moist and flavorful. I always tend towards the mayo version and my husband won't eat it. No bottled salad dressings or cheese please and the more veggies the merrier. Thanks.

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  1. I'm paraphrasing and condensing, here, but this idea from America's Test Kitchen is great--and has lots of veggies. If you mix it in while the pasta is still warm, the feta melts and gives the dish great flavor. Don't forget to save some of the pasta water to use for the pre-dressing step. (I always forget.) ;-)

    Chopped green onions would be great in this, too.

    Make a basic vinaigrette, with the usual: olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper; add one chopped shallot, dijon mustard and 1 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano (a pinch, if dried). (Sorry for not very many precise measurements--taste and adjust.)

    To a pound of cooked farfalle (save 1 cup of the pasta water), add the pasta water and the vinaigrette (should be about 12 tablespoons) and stir in 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled. Next, add 2 grated carrots, 1 large chopped bell pepper (red and yellow peppers are great in this, too), 1 cup pitted black olives, and 1/2 cup minced parsley leaves. Toss 1 pint cherry tomatoes over the top, but don't stir them in--they'll be squashed.


    1. This is a great recipe and doesnt use a mayo dressing.

      Pasta with Pesto:

      1 pound bow tie pasta or any shape you desire that is firm when cooked( I use Gemelli)
      3/4 cup Pesto, recipe follows
      1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
      1 cup crumbled feta cheese
      4 oz of mozzerella cheese cut into small dices or rectangles
      1 small can of sliced, black olives
      Salt and freshly ground black pepper
      Olive oil, as needed

      Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Stir in the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and run it under cold water just until it stops steaming. Bounce the pasta around to get rid of as much water as you can.
      Dump the pasta into a large serving bowl. Stir in the pesto until the pasta is coated. Toss in the cherry tomatoes, the crumbled feta, mozzerella and black olives. Taste the salad and season it as you like with salt and pepper. You can make the salad up to about 1 hour before you serve it. Check out the salad just before you serve it. If it's looking a little dry, add some olive oil and stir it around.

      A big handful basil leaves or 2 ounce container of fresh basil
      1/2 cup pine nuts or 3/4 cup walnuts (pine nuts are so pricey)
      1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
      Juice of one lemon
      1 Tablespoon of chopped garlic
      1 teaspoon of salt
      1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
      3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
      Place all ingredients with 1/2 cup of the oil in a blender and blend. Gradually drizzle in the remaining 1/4 cup of oil until pesto is thick and smooth.
      Yield: about 1 1/2 cups

        1. re: Val

          Orzo with Everything sounds like just what I was looking for - thanks.

        2. Two good non-creamy pasta salads: #1) Artichoke Pasta Salad: If you have a Trader Joe's, buy their frozen Artichoke-filled Tortellini and also their frozen artichoke hearts. Cook all and put together with lemon juice, olive oil, and maybe some chopped scallions. #2) Teriyaki Pasta Salad: Cook chicken breasts and shred meat. Mix with soy sauce, garlic powder, a little hot red pepper, chunks of frozen or canned pineapple, some cashew nuts, and cooked rotini (or any pasta with a lot of surface to absorb the flavor of the garlic and soy sauce).

          1. Here's my version of Orzo with Everything. It can be served warm, room temp., or cold.

            Use your favorite veggies...I usually use

            chopped unpeeled eggplant
            yellow squash
            red onion
            red bell peppers

            but I have omitted any of the above according to availability

            Place all of the chopped veggies in a large bowl and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread the veggies out on a cookie sheet and roast in a hot oven--I usually go for about 425--until the veggies are done to your liking. I like them lightly browned and semi-soft.

            In the meantime, cook your orzo.

            When the veggies are done, remove them from the oven and place them in the large bowl. Add the cooked, drained orzo. Then toss all of it together with a handful of chopped fresh herbs (I use basil) and grated or crumbled cheese, if you like. I use parmesan or feta. (The cheese is optional, as I see that you would prefer recipes without cheese.) Taste for seasoning and serve whenever.

            It's an old standby for me and can be served with any kind of roasted meat/poultry/fish. You could even make it into a one-dish meal by adding shredded roasted chicken.