You must know by now I love pasta salads. There's something so fresh about them. No heavy sauces, just some pesto or a little herby oil mixed through cold pasta with salad or vegetables. The ingredients really are the star if the show. It's filling too, so great for dinner and lunch the next day.
I'm calling this the best ever pasta salad. The flavours just sing. I think that's mostly because of the homemade kale and cashew pesto I dressed it with. Oh boy it's good!
Once the pasta shells were dressed with pesto I added sundried tomatoes, cucumber and sweetcorn. So simple, but such a great result.
So what's the secret to really good pasta salad?
It's all about the pasta, pasta, pasta.... *sings while typing*
The pasta has to be al dente. This is really important. It has to be firm. Not hard, but firm. As soon as it's cooked pour it into a colander and rinse under cold water until it's completely cold. This leaves you with firm glossy pasta. It's where most people go wrong. They drain the pasta then dress it and add the toppings while the pasta is still warm or worse still hot and are left with saggy, soft pasta salad. Really not appealing. Believe me. I've been there, long ago before I learned the trick and I still remember how bad it was.
The Best Summer Pasta Salad
A fresh pasta salad dressed with homemade kale and cashew pesto and paired with sundried tomatoes, cucumber and sweetcorn. Remember to rinse that pasta until it is cold!
- 500g shell pasta
- 6-8 tbsp homemade kale and cashew pesto (or any other pesto)
- 12 sundried tomatoes
- ¼ cucumber, halved lengthwise and sliced
- 240g tin sweetcorn, drained and rinsed (add as much or as little as you like)
- a good grinding black pepper
1. Cook the pasta in deep boiling water until firm, drain and rinse until cold. Shake gently to remove as much water as possible them transfer to a large bowl.2. Add the pesto and stir through the pasta.3. Next stir in the other ingredients and season with black pepper.4. Serve and enjoy!
Yield: Serves 4 with leftovers
Do you do the pasta trick when you make pasta salad?