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Old 05-28-2008, 09:34 AM   #1
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How do you make a cold pasta salad?

I buy these from supermarkets for lunch while i am at work and im sure it would be cheaper to make them. How do you get the pasta to become like they make it.

I have been told that once you have cooked it, run in under a cold tap straight away and it will be ready for a cold salad and not stick together.

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Old 05-28-2008, 09:36 AM   #2
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I do that, and also toss in a bit of the dressing I am using right away, if the rest of my ingredients are not ready. If nothing else, a small amount of veg or canola oil.
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Old 05-28-2008, 02:28 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by paterson00 View Post
I buy these from supermarkets for lunch while i am at work and im sure it would be cheaper to make them. How do you get the pasta to become like they make it.

I have been told that once you have cooked it, run in under a cold tap straight away and it will be ready for a cold salad and not stick together.
They cook it just short of al dente - and rinse and cool it as quickly as possible - then drain. This leaves it with some texture and washes off the surface starch that will cause it to stick toigether.

Then - you can use the pasta in any way you want to make any "cold" salad.
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Old 05-28-2008, 04:16 PM   #4
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ok thats cool so my next question is what is al dent'e. I know that it means almost crunchy when referring to vegetables but with pasta, ???????????

Not familier
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Old 05-28-2008, 04:21 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by paterson00 View Post
ok thats cool so my next question is what is al dent'e. I know that it means almost crunchy when referring to vegetables but with pasta, ???????????

Not familier
Same thing. Translated it means "to the tooth," or just on the underside of done. The pasta should have just a little bite to it. That way it won't get real soggy when you add the dressing.
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Old 05-28-2008, 05:17 PM   #6
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When I make "cold" pasta salad...I drain and rinse, then add the dressing while the pasta is still hot/warm... then chill....Don't ask me why...Ok?
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Old 05-29-2008, 12:34 AM   #7
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Thanks very much for your advice so far. So the next question i guess would be what do you reccommend i put in there. I know trying things is half the fun but ruining the only lunch you have while working in the midle of no where is the other side of that!!

What sauces are good safe bets or should i be using some kind of oil?

I will be using a fair amount of sweetcorn and red peppers as i love both of them.
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Old 05-29-2008, 07:15 AM   #8
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Two things I always reach for in the cold pasta salads are....Cherry/Grape Tomaotes halved, and Swimps!!

Enjoy!
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Old 05-29-2008, 07:34 AM   #9
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I like to make my own oil and vinegar dressing for cold pasta salads, for 12 ounces of pasta, use 2/3 cup nice olive oil and 3 T. vinegar, I use a red wine vinegar. To the oil and vinegar dressing, add salt and pepper, some parmesan cheese, fresh or dried basil. Add chopped vegetables, maybe some olives and cubed cheeses to the salad.
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Old 05-29-2008, 10:06 AM   #10
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Tis the season for cold pasta salads. There's so many recipes out there you can take a look here and choose your favorites.
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