Here are suggestions for some ingredients to be used in making pasta salads, and a recipe for pasta salad with chicken (see the bottom of page).
- macaroni, penne, fusilli, farfalle, orecchiette, cotelli, garganelli, ruote, etc
for sauce and seasoning:
- meat: cooked chicken, crisp bacon, smoked ham, baked, hot or cold smoked or canned salmon, smoked whitefish, tuna, etc
- vegetables: cucumber, tomato, sun-dried tomato, bell pepper, sweetcorn, radish, olives,
green peas, beans, celery, green onion, scallion, chives, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, champignons, etc
- fruit: apple, avocado, pineapple, pear, peach, grapes, kiwi fruit, etc
- toasted pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc
- hard-boiled eggs
- grated or thinly shaved Parmesan or other diced or grated cheese (eg strong Cheddar, Gouda, Emmental, Finnish
Ritari or Turunmaa, etc), crumbled blue cheese, etc
- oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mayonnaise, crème fraîche, sour cream, chutney, pesto sauce, etc
- salt, sugar, pepper, mustard, mustard powder, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika powder,
celery salt, tarragon, basil, parsley, etc
Cook the pasta until tender, drain and let cool a bit. Mix in the seasoned sauce and any of the additional ingredients you like.
Cover and place in refrigerator for 1 - 2 hours before serving for the pasta to absorb the sauce and the flavours to mix.
In picture on right: suggestion for salad ingredients to be mixed with cooked pasta.
PASTA SALAD WITH CHICKEN
about 150 - 180 g cubed or shredded cooked chicken/broiler (eg breast fillets, thighs/drumsticks, or leftover meat from whole cooked chicken/broiler)
about 200 g dry/uncooked Fusilli pasta
about 50 - 70 g boiled and cubed carrot
(about 50 - 90 g rashers of fresh, smoked streaky bacon)
about 70 g sweet green peas, fresh or frozen
about 100 ml canned sweet corn kernels (maize)
about 50 - 60 g red bell pepper (or mixed colours orange, yellow, red)
100 - 140 g halved sweet, seedless grapes
1 small or ½ medium red onion
about 20 - 50 g crumbled blue cheese (eg Finnish Aura or French Saint Agur, Roquefort, etc), or replace with some grated sharp cheddar
(halved cherry tomatoes for garnish)
(basil leaves for garnish)
about 100 - 120 g crème fraîche or sour cream and about 100 - 120 g Finnish curd cream (or replace about one quarter of the creams with good-quality mayonnaise)
(½ - 1 garlic clove)
10 - 20 g (or to taste) lemon juice
5 - 15 g (or to taste) sugar
black pepper to taste
The chicken/broiler may be poached, baked or grilled cut the meat in bite-size pieces or shred with a fork.
Rinse and peel or scrape clean some carrots and cut each in 2 - 4 large pieces, depending on their size. Boil the carrot pieces until tender in water with a pinch of salt and sugar, drain and leave to cool. Cut the carrots in small cubes. If using bacon, slowly fry the rashers in a skillet until golden brown and slightly crispy, or bake in oven (on a deep baking sheet covered with parchment paper or spread on a rack placed over an oven pan to catch the drippings, either at 175 - 200 °C for about 10 to 15 minutes or at 150 °C for 20 - 25 minutes). Drain on kitchen towels and crumble to pieces.
If using frozen peas, briefly boil them in salted water according to the instructions in their package. Drain and chill in ice-cold water, then drain again. Thoroughly drain the canned corn. Rinse the bell pepper(s) and cut into small cubes. Thoroughly rinse and drain the grapes and cut in half. Peel and chop the red onion in small pieces.
Crumble the blue cheese in tiny pieces (or coarsely grate the cheddar, if using it instead) if you are using a very soft type of blue cheese (like Roquefort, Gorgonzola etc) you may try mixing it with the dressing.
Mix the ingredients for the dressing, seasoning it to your taste. If using garlic, press it through a garlic press. Boil the pasta according to the instructions on the package, drain and rinse briefly under cold running water. Drain again and pour in a large bowl. Mix in enough of the dressing to produce a moist salad. Finally add all the rest of the ingredients.
Cover the bowl and place in refrigerator for a couple of hours for the flavours to mix.
Note that the pasta will absorb some of the sauce, and the consistency of the salad may turn slightly too dry in this case, you can mix in some more dressing.
Serve the pasta garnished with cherry tomatoes and sprigs of basil.