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Old 06-26-2016, 01:41 PM   #21
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How exactly do you toast cooked pasta?

Wait, I think I just got it. You're toasting freshly made pasta. You may want to be more clear about that. You didn't mention it in your first post on this, so I was confused. Others probably were, too, since few of us regularly make homemade pasta.
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Old 06-26-2016, 01:55 PM   #22
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Cook it normally, drain, and then lay it out in a toaster oven and toast away until lightly coloured. I got the idea from the delicious "burnt ends" of a manicotti dish I made.
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Old 06-26-2016, 02:09 PM   #23
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Interesting idea. Thanks.
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Old 06-26-2016, 04:09 PM   #24
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Couple of things...coat noodles with a liberal amount of oil and let it sit for a while so it can absorb some of the oil. This will stop the pasta from absorbing any dressing and becoming sticky. Dilute any mayo based dressings with a splash of water, or vinegar. It may seem a little runny, but it will thicken up later if you put it in the fridge to chill. Then toss or stir before serving.
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Old 06-27-2016, 01:30 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outRIAAge View Post
Cook it normally, drain, and then lay it out in a toaster oven and toast away until lightly coloured. I got the idea from the delicious "burnt ends" of a manicotti dish I made.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocklobster View Post
Couple of things...coat noodles with a liberal amount of oil and let it sit for a while so it can absorb some of the oil. This will stop the pasta from absorbing any dressing and becoming sticky. Dilute any mayo based dressings with a splash of water, or vinegar. It may seem a little runny, but it will thicken up later if you put it in the fridge to chill. Then toss or stir before serving.
Both of those ideas are interesting. I no longer make pasta salads but when I did, I was never happy with them the next day..yuck.
I wish I knew then what I know now.
Thanks for the great info guys! Discuss Cooking at it's best.
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Old 06-27-2016, 07:02 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocklobster View Post
Couple of things...coat noodles with a liberal amount of oil and let it sit for a while so it can absorb some of the oil. This will stop the pasta from absorbing any dressing and becoming sticky. Dilute any mayo based dressings with a splash of water, or vinegar. It may seem a little runny, but it will thicken up later if you put it in the fridge to chill. Then toss or stir before serving.
Lately, I've been sprinkling freshly cooked pasta with a bit of the vinegar I'm using in the recipe, like I do with potato salad. It flavors the pasta but doesn’t make it sticky.
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Old 06-28-2016, 04:21 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocklobster View Post
Couple of things...coat noodles with a liberal amount of oil and let it sit for a while so it can absorb some of the oil. This will stop the pasta from absorbing any dressing and becoming sticky. Dilute any mayo based dressings with a splash of water, or vinegar. It may seem a little runny, but it will thicken up later if you put it in the fridge to chill. Then toss or stir before serving.
The coating with oil is the key. I used to make 120 (8 oz) servings of pasta twice a week. We used all kinds of pasta. We cooked the pasta the day before, added oil, covered the pasta and let it chill in the walk-in overnight. I use buttermilk to thin mayo-based dressings. I have toasted pasta before cooking it. I add dried herbs to the water.
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Old 06-28-2016, 04:24 PM   #28
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The coating with oil is the key.
I've done that, but I prefer using vinegar instead. I like for the pasta itself to be well-flavored and I find that the sauce slides off the noodles if they're coated with oil first.
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Old 06-28-2016, 07:01 PM   #29
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I too find pasta a little bit gummy, particularly in a cold salad, so in the spirit, if not letter of the thread, I'm going to post my zuccini barley salad, which is generally a hit at picnics.

1 cup barley
2 cups vege stock
2-4 zuccini
2 cans 15 oz garbanzo
16 oz cherry tomatoes
16 oz feta
1 bundle fresh mint
salt
pepper

Boil the barley in the stock until soft and cooked.

While barley is cooking, matchstick the zukes, i.e. cut them up into matchstick looking pieces, salt well, and let sit.

Add the chick peas and a bit of black pepper to the barley, heat to warm, add half the dressing (see below) to barley chick pea mix.

halve the tomatoes, and combine with mint and zukes (I like to press out much of the water from the zukes by wrapping them up in cheesecloth and pressing). Add to the barley mix, add rest of dressing, and chill. Serve chilled.

For dressing:

1 cup cider vinegar
1 tbsp mustard (I like it mustardy so I use coghlin's British mustard powdered, but you can get by with a Dijon, or heck French's)
1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
2 tbsp olive oil
pepper to taste
1/2 tsp cumin
a touch of cloves, to taste

mix well

Cheers!

TBS
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Old 06-28-2016, 07:05 PM   #30
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Usually I'm cooking for one so for me, pasta salad has evolved into a kind of 'use up what's in the veggie bin' one meal salad. I'm not crazy about it the next day either, so I usually just grab a palmful of orzo and start chopping whatever veggies need to be used up. Sometimes bits of ham or shrimp get added. I use a blend of a little mayo, rice vinegar, and Penzeys Greek seasoning or Fox Point and call it a meal. I like using orzo and chopping the veggies rather small, that way I can get a little of everything in one bite.

It's rarely the same twice unless I make it specifically for a family dinner or BBQ, then I obviously put more care into the ingredients. We especially like antipasto salads and for that I use a larger sized pasta instead of orzo.
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