How gorgeous was the weather this weekend? - we have been loving it in our household and have already had 3 barbecues - I love just a cheeseburger or a steak smothered in blue cheese with a green salad. Most of the time we are extremely unadventurous when it comes to barbecuing as Pascal prefers to keep it nice and simple, and as long as there is melted cheese involved, I am a happy bunny!
On Sunday we decided to push the boat out and have a pasta salad rather than the green variety (much to Arabella's delight). The problem was we only made this decision at the supermarket so had to improvise as to what to put in it - I never don't follow a recipe so this was quite the experiment.
Pascal believes less is more and probably would have put in half the ingredients - I believe more is better so it was full of goodies!!
This is what I did for my pasta salad however feel free to add your own alterations:
Ingredients for 6 portions as a side / 4 portions as a main:
500g fusilli pasta (or whatever shape you prefer)
A yellow pepper, sliced
4-5 tablespoons of olive oil (this depends on your taste - Pascal just free poured - thankfully we weren't counting calories)!
Half a 240g jar of sun dried tomatoes, sliced
Half a 110g jar of black olives
An avocado, cut up into bite size chunks (quite a messy process)
4 pepperamis, sliced
3 continental onions, sliced
150g Gruyere cheese (you could add feta or goat's cheese instead), chopped into bite size pieces
Salt & pepper
The whole process of this pasta salad is super easy. Firstly boil the kettle and cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to the packet instructions.
While this is cooking, slice / cut all the ingredients. I would do the avocado last so it doesn't turn brown.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain it. It is important to then stir in the oil so the pasta does not stick together. As I mentioned Pascal was very generous with the olive oil - it tasted delicious but you could add slightly less.
Once the pasta has cooled, add all the ingredients and mix together. Finally season to taste and then tuck on in!
It was absolutely delicious - all the flavours worked so well together and each bite had a different taste, plus it is so pretty and colourful. I especially loved the combination of the sun dried tomatoes, spring onions and pepperamis in it! Like with lots of pastas, the salad tasted even better the next day, and the day after that (I finally gobbled up the remains for lunch today)! The avocado obviously discolours but it still tasted yum!!
I would definitely do this again - I think the olive oil works a lot better than mayonnaise as it is less rich and creamy and with regards to the ingredients you can add whatever you want - I would love to hear any of your suggestions - I think pasta salad is going to become a barbecue staple this year!