Last updated on October 3rd, 2020
Colourful bell peppers, broccoli, corn decked up beautifully in the vegetable section of the departmental store tempted me to make Pasta salad. But I usually make Pasta salad in summers and hence a cool one. And cold salad in this season? No way! But as I couldn’t resist my temptation, I tried my hands at warm pasta salad. And it was super duper hit!
I made it for my cousin and his wife who were coming to my place. When I served it to them, my cousin’s first reaction was that he doesn’t like pasta. But when I told him that it was without any sauce, red or white or pesto, then he tried it with just one bite but liked it a lot and took another serving too. Not only that, everyone liked it so much that I had to make another batch of it.
Our taste buds change with the weather, mood, environment and many other things. The same food which is loved by us at one time becomes unbearable as the mood or weather changes. Nothing is fixed, so why limit ourselves with fixed recipes? The more we play around with recipes the better it is. Isn’t it?
Here I am talking about salads. Salads today have become exotic with so many innovations and varieties. Salads no longer mean few leafy greens with cucumber, carrots, etc. Now, salads are not just an accompaniment but have replaced meals even. They are not only healthy but filling too. Salad with soup constitutes a complete meal in many households.
Warm Pasta Salad
This warm pasta salad is exactly like my cool Pasta Salad with the difference that I omitted cucumbers. Yes, while making warm salads, swap cool veggies like cucumber, lettuce, etc with roasted veggies, sauteed greens and some nuts.
Also, I sauteed veggies a bit along with the herbs and tossed the pasta in it. Herbs are a king in salads especially Pasta salad. Pasta is bland as you all know. And when herbs are added to it, the same bland pasta becomes mouth-watering. So add herbs generously.
Is Pasta Healthy?
While going through this post, you must be doubting if Pasta is a healthy food or not. Right?
- If you use refined flour pasta then definitely it is not good. Refined pasta is categorized under refined foods that are high in glycemic index and considered as ’empty calories’. Refined foods are bad carbs that contribute to several diseases including diabetes.
- Whole grain pasta loaded with veggies, complemented with healthy fat is a healthy choice. It is lower in carbs and calories and rich in fibre and nutrients.
- Get rid of starch: Boil pasta in plenty of water so that the starch in pasta is released in the water itself. And as the water is drained the excess starch too is drained. To know how to boil pasta read here.
- Moderation: Always remember the key principle which says that anything eaten in moderation is good for us. Excess of anything, even if fruits, causes harm to us.
- Also, nowadays, we have a variety of other healthy pasta available like Brown Rice Pasta, Red Lentil Pasta, Chickpeas pasta, Quinoa Pasta.
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Warm Pasta Salad
This warm pasta salad is exactly like my cool Pasta Salad with the difference that I omitted cucumbers. Yes, while making warm salads, swap cool veggies like cucumber, lettuce, etc with roasted veggies, sauteed greens and some nuts. Also, I sauteed veggies a bit along with the herbs and tossed the pasta in it. Herbs are a king in salads especially Pasta salad. Pasta is bland as you all know. And when herbs are added to it, the same bland pasta becomes mouth-watering. So add herbs generously.
Tips To Make A Good Salad
1. Seasonal Ingredients
Always use seasonal ingredients that are easily available in the market. The seasonal ingredients are not only economical but are packed with nutrients and are full of taste too.
2. Use of Healthy Fats
Some salads taste good without oil but not all. Fats add taste and flavour in some salads. And if you are using healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, or sesame oil, there is no reason that you shy away from adding these to your salads.
3. Use of herbs
The more herbs you use, the tastier your salad becomes. Try using fresh herbs as much as possible. However, go for dried ones if fresh herbs are not available easily.
1 tsp Dried Herbs=1 Tbsp Fresh herbs
4. Chopping veggies
While chopping veggies or fruits for the salad, take care that these are, as far as possible, roughly of the same size and shape as the main ingredient. For example, if using penne pasta then chop your veggies lengthwise. For Quinoa salad, chop the veggies in very tiny bits. And so on. This
- improves the look of the salad,
- facilitates eating it,
- ensures that all the ingredients are properly coated with the dressing.
5. Addition Of Nuts
Adding nuts to your salads is a very good idea. Nuts lend crunchiness to the salad and also make it more nutritious. You may add almonds, walnuts, pinenuts, peanuts, etc depending on your taste and preference.
6. Making ahead
Try making your salads at least one hour ahead of serving time so that flavours are seeped in fully. Do not forget to cover these whether kept in the refrigerator or on the gas stove.
Detailed Recipe Of Warm Pasta Salad With Step By Step (Pics)
Step 1: Boil pasta in plenty of water as per instructions on the packet.
Step 2: When boiled, transfer it into a strainer.
Step 3: Chop Veggies, Boil corns.
Step 4: Heat oil in a wok, saute crushed garlic and veggies in it.
Step 5: Add herbs.
Step 6: Add boiled Pasta. Mix in salt. Saute for a while.
Step 7: At the time of serving add vinegar and sprinkle slivered almonds.
Warm Pasta Salad Recipe
- 100 g Whole Wheat Pasta
- 1 litre Water Plus 2 Tbsp Salt For Boiling Pasta
- 200 g Mixed Veggies (Bell Pepper, Broccoli, onions, etc)
- Corn/Baby Corn 50 g
- 1/2 tsp Crushed Garlic
- Olive Oil 2 Tbsp
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 1/2 tsp Basil
- 1/2 tsp Parsley
- Salt to taste
- 1 Tbsp Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Slivered Almonds
- Take 1-litre water n a wide-open utensil and keep on the flame. Add salt to it. When the water starts boiling add pasta to it. Boil it for 10 to 12 minutes or as mentioned on the packet.
- As the water is boiling, chop all the veggies.
- Once pasta is boiled, put it in the strainer so that all water is drained.
- Boil corns and keep aside.
- In a wok, take olive oil. Add crushed garlic, veggies and saute on high flame. Keep on tossing for 3 to 4 minutes. High flame ensures that the veggies remain crunchy and are cooked partially at the same time.
- Add herbs, oregano, basil, parsley, and chilli flakes. Toss these also so that these are cooked and release their flavour.
- Add boiled pasta. Add salt and toss everything nicely.
- Let it sit for a few minutes at least, up to half an hour.
- At the time of serving, warm it either in a microwave or gas stove.
- Add vinegar and toss.
- Sprinkle slivered almonds.
- Serve with love, soup optional.
- Serve with love
- Use pasta of any shape you prefer, but remember to chop veggies in the same style.
- Take plenty of water as mentioned in the recipe so that most of the starch in pasta is drained out.
- Adjust veggies as per your taste and liking. You may use carrots, beans, etc too.
- Cover it with a lid once it is completely cool.
- Add vinegar at the time of serving only. This is because it is not advisable to heat anything after adding vinegar.
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Samira Gupta runs a vegetarian food blog that has a wide range of healthy recipes for every occasion and everyone. Following the mantra of ‘‘Cook with ease, serve with love” the recipes here are simple and come with step by step pics so that anyone can cook regardless of their experience in cooking. You can check her blog at samirasrecipe.com.
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