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Old 04-19-2004, 09:38 PM   #1
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Cold pasta salad question

Being a fan of the simple recipes, my question is simple as well! How can al-dente pasta absorb and nullify the strong and flavorful effects of Italian dressing?

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Old 04-19-2004, 10:40 PM   #2
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Well, personally if I am going to have oil stick well to my pasta, I will wash cold water on it after cooking in the collander. Then I will shake it till I cant get anymore water off. I'll let it sit for about 15 minutes until the pasta is relatively dry. Then I will add my oil.... in your case dressing. It sticks to the pasta better. I cant say that I have ever found pasta to absorb oil / dressing. Pasta is water absorbent, not oil absorbent.
Hope that helps.
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Old 04-20-2004, 05:24 PM   #3
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The last time I made a pasta salad, I essentially did what you suggested. I used a decent quality "zesty!" dressing but the finished product was nearly tasteless. Knowing that al dente pasta can absorb quite a bit of liquid, I thought that may be the culprit. Of course, it could be that I'm a really crappy cook! :D I'll keep trying, tho. Thanks for the info, Deadly!!!
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Old 04-20-2004, 05:34 PM   #4
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What kind of dressing did you use? It makes a HUUUGE difference on the oil used. Well, at least thats what I found for myself. Any fresh garlic in there? I hope youre using 1st pressed extra virgin olive oil too. Can you tell us whats in the dressing? That could determine much. Thanks buddy. :)
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Old 04-20-2004, 06:58 PM   #5
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How about a really "beefy" pasta shape like rotini, one with ridges to catch the sauce?
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Old 04-24-2004, 05:57 PM   #6
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Lindatooo is absolutely right about the rotini! I love a saucy product and rotini is perfect for that. As for the dressing, I used Mama Kraft's recipe (ahem) so now you know the quality. As far as the salad goes, I have been known to mess things up in a way that no one else can. Kinda like the Douglas Adams character who is moving a couch up the stairs and gets stuck trying to get the couch around a corner. When he tries to solve the problem with his computer it tells him that it's physically impossible for the couch to be stuck there in the first place. Story of my life!
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Old 04-24-2004, 07:34 PM   #7
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I really love a good pasta salad and they are not easy to find! So many times the pasta is either "sludge" or tastes grainy. I have a good recipe using the Top Ramen noodles I'd be happy to post if anyone is interested.
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Old 04-24-2004, 08:21 PM   #8
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Cold pasta salad question

Lindatooo,
Is it the Chinese Chicken Salad with cabbage??
Post yours please.
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Old 04-24-2004, 08:26 PM   #9
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I'm interested in the recipe, lindatooo! You probably don't care but my grandpa was the City Forester of Portland for about 20 years from the 70's to the 90's (don't know the exact dates!)
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Old 04-24-2004, 09:07 PM   #10
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Damp I am too! We live almost within spitting distance from the Hoyt Arboretum and the Western Forestry Center, I bet he had a big hand in that. It's a beautiful place, part of Forest Park which includes a 26 mile trail called "Wildwood" that runs from the arboretum to St. Helens. A big piece of heaven! People like your grandfather probably made it all happen!

Ramen Salad

1 C Sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
Season with salt and sweat in a pan
Add
1/2 lb cooked asparagas in 1/2" pieces
1/2 C portebello mushrooms
and continue to sweat until mushrooms are tender then deglaze the pan with wine.

Combine with
1/3 C chopped hazlenuts
1/3 lb feta chese (crumbled)
1/3 lb sliced Kalamata Olives
1 can black beans (drained)

and chill.

2 packages Top Ramen Noodles, Pork or Oriental flavored.

Break up noodles and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and shock immediately in ice water; drain.

When noodles are cold combine them with the first ingredients.

Dressing:

2 T oil
1 T white wine vinegar
2 T Balsamic Vinegar
1 T prepared mustard

combine with the 2 flavor packs from the noodles.

Combine the dressing and the salad shortly before serving.

Add other ingredients - water chestnuts, green onions, actually anything that sounds good to you at your whim! You can change the nuts if you like - pecans are very good. This is one of the most playful salads I've ever made.

Enjoy!
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