Friday, June 17, 2011

Pasta Salad -- for a Light Lunch

Near my home there is a place called Tuscany.

Beautiful rolling hills, wind rustling through the olive branches, bales of golden hay rolled up in meadows....

Okay, Cut, Cut...That is the other Tuscany

Repeat again.

Near my home there is a place called Tuscany, the Italian Gourmet Food store. BigSis loves the pasta there. I love it too but she loves it more so lets blame it on her.

The other day I got a cold pasta salad for myself from the same place. It was a very simple salad, pasta, tomatoes and red peppers tossed in olive oil and with a generous sprinkling of Feta. It was really very good. I don't sing glories of vegetarian food just like that.

Big Sis wanted a taste and then she finished almost all my share. Not so good.

But I thought, "Hey, if the kid can eat Pasta Salad at Tuscany, she can sure eat one at home. That means so much less work for me. For the next 10 years or so until she goes to college, that is what I am going to feed her. Simple, light, almost healthy Pasta Salad. That leaves me with an enormous amount of time for blogging about food that I don't need to cook. Yippee."


So I searched high and low and settled on this recipe. Only I did not have mushroom OR bell pepper OR green onion OR black olives.

That did nothing to dampen my spirits. I had Grape Tomatoes AND Baby Spinach AND more lovely Grape Tomatoes and more tender Baby Spinach.

So in a big bowl I happily poured some Olive Oil, the EVOO...glug, glug, glug

Then I splashed some Balsamic Vinegar...splash

Added some Garlic Powder, Pepper powder, Sea Salt, bit of Sugar, some Parsley Flakes...sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle

Whisked together.

Meanwhile cooked Pasta according to package directions and a minute extra. I had Farfalle.

I had also roasted some of the grape tomatoes earlier, they were sweet.

To the big bowl which had Olive Oil etc., I added the cooked Pasta, the roasted as well as some fresh tomatoes and baby spinach. They were tossed and turned till everyone was happily coated with the dressing.

I wanted to add sausages too but totally forgot.

I then let it chill in the refrigerator. While serving a generous sprinkle of Herbed Feta went on top.

Everyone loved it. And after two meals of that BigSis said "I love your pasta salad, but can we not have any more of it?"

This one I am sending to Red Chilies to share with her for a Light Lunch, her brilliant series for June. I absolutely love light lunches as that is what I cook for us all through the week. I am looking forward to see  more light lunch ideas through out this month at Red Chilies.


  1. Totally Yum!!!! Love the way you have made this salad!!!

  2. Feel like finishing that whole plate..

  3. Poor big sis who has to eat this for 10 years, but then as it looks so delicious I am sure she won't complain. I love salades like this in summer, but Hans hates cold pasta.

  4. Aaahhh yummmyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!

  5. Looks so healthy and delicious .... yummm.


  6. Love everything that goes into the salad but the cold part is what I don't like, rather warm and hot.

    I don't know what's with pasta that all kids tend to like them.

  7. I think you've summed up the blogging bug very accurately - hilarious reading! We used to get Feta in small cartons earlier, some Danish brand, just that and some veggies and we didn't even need salt - now we don't get it :(

  8. the way you write is so interesting.Lovely recipe .Love the way you write so different recipes- aam chutney,so bong to Pasta ,sooo italian.

  9. Very refreshing and with loads of 'feel good' after serving a healthy fresh meal. Girls are growing fast, so it ia always better to have options handy. Take care and enjoy your weekend.


  10. Yummy salad! I was thinking of making some pasta salad for lunch. In fact, I was thinking of spinach pesto pasta.. if it tastes good, will update my blog with the recipe.. :)

    Have a nice weekend!

  11. Looks yummy....We are three of us at home, and none of us eat pasta...seriously considering possibilities if we can embark on a pasta eating way of life...since you have enticed me by saying it means a break from cooking :)

  12. Pasta is one of my favs when it comes to quick fix fishes. I am a slave to feta. Adding it at the top makes more sense as it gets lost in the sauce otherwise

  13. I often snack on feta with lavash

  14. I make pasta salad all the time in the summer - lovely bowls of veggie filled delights and sometimes with sausages chopped in. And lots of garlic....don't ask, I did it once and hubby loves it with that flavour now.

    This one with the goat cheese and spinach looks awesome - did Big Sis like it?

  15. Thank you for sending this over Sandeepa. I feel so thrilled to recive it from you ! I posted similar one too at my blog.
    I can relate to the incidence with the BigS, and I face pretty much the same at home.

  16. Pasta with salad looks and sounds yummy!!

  17. Looks perfectly done and am very tempted seeing those bondas

  18. funny! my kids too thrive on variety.. i too love the pasta salad.. u can pass it on to me anyday.:))

  19. Great description of the recipe, S -- I'm laughing because tonight I posted -- before coming here -- a variation on your goan shrimp curry -- also 'happily' mingling :)

    I could never entice my (now grown) kids to eat a pasta salad -- but they would think twice about yours!

  20. Ha ha... same thing with M. She loves something and then after two times, she is done with it. Like forever! Does not even want to see it again, let alone taste. Pasta salad makes a wonderful light lunch. Looks good, San.

  21. Hi
    Thank u so much as u shared such beautiful looking pasta salad. All kids seem to love pasta, but kolkatay amra sab ingredient er thikthak use jani na. Can u share which olive oil is better - extra virgin or other variety. Room temp na hot oil? How much should i heat the oil if making a dish like alfredo? feta r better substitute ki processed cheese na so called pizza cheese available in India (mix of mozzarella and processed). Sorry for bothering u so much dear....lots of love for u.

  22. Hi ,
    Loved the post. My family loves ALMOST EVERYTHING with and about pasta..

    Having said that, am not so sure about your,"For the next 10 years or so until she goes to college, that is what I am going to feed her" bit!!!
    all the best , will give you a call after no 3... days to ask how its going...

  23. Looks super, I can almost taste it. Have I told you this before - your photographs are fabulous!! You make the food look soooo good!

  24. Haven't made pasta in a couple of years but I am all for easy cooking. LOL on the more time for blogging, my sentiments exactly. Now only if my kid would start eating pasta!

  25. Big fan of yours Sandeepa.Love the recipes, photography and the writing. Have tried many of your recipes and have loved the results. Please do keep writing! It's a pleasure to read your blog. I chanced upon this website featuring bangladeshi recipes where I found one of your pictures conveniently placed. I dont know if you have seen it already.


  26. Authenticoriyafood
    Thank You

    Krithi, Priya M, Priya

    It was definitely good


    Oh she did complain, after two meals ;-)

    Writerzblock, Satrupa


  27. Indo

    You can have it at room temp. I never liked Pasta until the kids arrived !!!


    Ask Miri or Kalyan@FinelyChopped, being in Mumbai I guess they have access to good Feta or we will send you some
    I am not a big cheese lover but I love Feta on salad etc.


    Thanks for the kind words


    Yes, very refreshing during summer


    Looking forward to it

    Bengali Mom in Mumbai

    Yeah, yeah make them eat it, some days at least :-D


    Kalyan, I remember you carrying lavash for lunch in on of your blog posts. I am yet to try it
    feta is best crumbles, doesn't make much of a sauce


    Raw chopped garlic or roasted ? Do tell

  28. RedChilies

    I am glad to participate

    Thank you


    Ok, done :)


    As of now the kids love pasta, not sure how long that is going to last


    Yeah same here but after a few days break it is again welcome, so good that way but the love definitely decreases the second time


    Olive Oil - Extra Virgin is better. On salads use oil at room temp. I use Olive for cooking too so in that case you have to heat but do not heat as much as Mustard oil or for frying etc. as Olive Oil has a lower smoking point. However people say very good quality EVOO has higher smoking point and can be used for frying, I do not know.

    Feta is different from pizza cheese. It has a grainy, crumbly texture almost like home made paneer. But it does not taste like Paneer. You can look for goat cheese which is essentially Feta. The Feta I buy also has herbs in it so tastes really good.Feta is Mediterranean so try stores which sell those specialties.


    Don't have to wait, i already got my rejection :)


    Awww, thank you so much


    Couple of years ? seriously ? That was my state of being before 2004


    Thank You will look it up. These people make life so difficult.

  29. Amaro pasta bhalolagena. tobe chhanapona hole pochhondo bodlabe kina janina. shunechhi loker 'purpose of life' bodle jay, pasta-r pochhondo-apochhondo to kon chhar.

    ebar jeta jigges korbo apnake Bongmom, je amar chayer post ta kothay kibhabe pathate hobe. ar Bangla-y post allowed?

  30. Loved the splash ans sprinkle :)
    And the cold pasta salad too..

  31. aha I have perfected the art of the light pasta salad in lunch boxes . Aami , beans add kori and julienned carrots aar roast chicken deyi keno na amaar boro meye sanghatik mangshashi :)

  32. Hi, You mentioned you did not have peppers or green onions or would you have used them otherwise?I can imagine raw peppers and onions but what about the mushrooms?Not sure if they would taste good raw in this salad? Can you please let me know? thanks.

  33. Hi,you mentioned you did not have peppers/green onions/ would you have used them in this salad otherwise?I can understand having peppers and onions raw,but what about the mushrooms?i love mushrooms but can't imagine it tasting too good raw in the salad. Can you please let me know? I'm planning to make it for lunch today.thanks.

  34. R2

    Please read the recipe carefully. Did I say I HAVE used those in MY salad ? Mushroom and Pepper were used in the ORIGINAL recipe not in mine
    Whether you like raw mushroom or not is totally your choice.


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