I was checking my phone at 6 am (cause the alarm went off) and I was so happy with what I saw that I squealed and did a 360-degree flip! Ok, fine, it was just 180 degrees, right to left. Anything more than that would have broken a few bones. I was all smiles and there was just one cause for this.
FOODGAWKER accepted my recent submission!
The 44th photo that they have accepted (from MK!). Yes!! *Fist bump* Let’s not talk about the 81 rejected photos, please? I was cock-a-hoop and all smiles at 6 am in the morning! Is that weird? Somebody please tell me that such things happen to you as well? And no, I am not lying about the 81 rejected pictures. That is the count from May 2014. I know I have said this before BUT having your food photos on Foodgawker is one sure way of getting more traffic to my website. Just speaking from experience here. Foodgawker, can we do this often? I cook delicious food regularly and you keep publishing the pics of those? Like how good friends should be. ♥
I have been craving for a pasta salad for weeks now, but I don’t know why it is so difficult to get down to boiling some pasta for the salad. I invariably end up having a salad sans the pasta every time because I was too lazy to actually pour some pasta in a pot of freaking hot water.
My cousin sent over a Pasta Salad before making her way back to Australia and that aggravated the craving. I eventually got down to making some pasta salad which was a HUGE hit with the family that I might just start boiling pasta for salads every single day of my life now!
I did a mix of penne, cherry tomatoes, avocados, snow peas (thanks Bea) and a mix of baby salad (arugula, romaine, chard, green and red oak). I did a quick dressing of roughly mashed avocados + olive oil + lemon juice + feta cheese + black pepper + salt. Man, it was out of this world! I could eat spoonfuls of that dressing! I really love how a squeeze of lemon juice would always accentuate the flavor of avocados. It is not really a typical dressing as it is pretty thick, more like a spoonable dip/spread but since there are tomatoes, onions and lotsa greens in the pasta salad, the dressing somehow “thin” itself in between all the tossing.
A good dish does not need heavy or rich ingredients to emphasize the taste and this Delicious Pasta Salad with Avocado Dressing is a fine example of an uncomplicated yet delicious dish. My mom went for thirds and that speaks a lot as she is not a fan of avocados. I guess the citrusy creamy yet chunky avocados were too hard to resist. You can top the salad with some Parmigiano Reggiano if you prefer.
Pasta Salads are so versatile and they provide you with endless possibilities for new flavor combinations and ingredients. I already have a small list of what I would be doing in the near future.
Toss pasta with:
- Olives + onions + peppers + cherry tomatoes + lettuce + fresh momozzarella + evoo + lemon juice = Summer Salad Pasta
- Lemon + evoo + shrimps + basil + mangoes = Refreshing Prawn and Mango Salad Pasta
- Roasted red peppers. anchovies, evoo + capers + Puttanesca Salad Pasta
- Peanuts + honey + prawns + cilantro + basil + mint + sesame oil + light soy sauce = Thai noodle salad
- Onions + tomatoes + diced cucumbers + olives + green pepper + feta + lemon vinaigrette = Greek Salad Pasta
- Basil pesto + pine-nuts + shaved parmesan + basil + peas + baby spinach = Pesto and Peas Pasta Salad.
Toss the above combinations with your favorite pasta and season with salt + pepper and voila! Pretty awesome isn’t it? 🙂
Best of all Pasta Salads can be served with almost any entree. In fact, it is hearty enough to serve as the main dish itself.
Do give this Delicious Pasta Salad with Avocado Dressing a try people! It is delicious, refreshing and creamy. Not that normal kinda cream but the oh-so-good-for-your-heart kind of creamy. According to the American Heart Association, avocados promote a healthy heart! Most of the ingredients in this Pasta Salad are healthy and therefore if you want it to be totally good for you, you can use whole wheat penne instead.
Now onto the recipe itself!
- 2 cups penne - cook till al dente
- 4 cups or 1 bag of mixed baby salad leaves
- 1 avocado - sliced
- 1 small onion - sliced
- 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
- A handful of fresh basil - shredded
- A handful of mint - shredded
- 1 cup snow peas - cut into thirds
- 1 avocado
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to season
- For topping (optional)
- ⅓ cup parmesan
- 1 Tsp chili flakes
- In a bowl, roughly mash the avocado with a fork, I like it chunky but if you prefer, you can mash it till smooth.
- Mix in all the ingredients for the dressing. You can add more lemon juice if required.
- In a large bowl, toss all the pasta ingredients with the dressing.
- Stir well to combine.
- You can top with parmesan and chili flakes if you prefer.
- You can serve immediately or refrigerate till if you would like to serve it cold.