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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    San Francisco

    cold vegetarian pasta salad?

    i'm going to a birthday bbq this saturday, and i'm looking for recommendations for pasta salads i can bring! it will be 85 degrees in the park, so nothing with mayonnaise or anything too heavy with oil. can anyone share some suggestions? i'd also love it if it had some tofu in it.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    I like this one. I made it with tomato tortellini, so it would look pink. The mint really adds a nice touch.

    Tortellini Salad (Makes 8 servings)

    "Fresh herbs and lemon juice give this cheese tortellini the refreshing flavor of summer. It is a wonderful dish for picnics. Ideas for variations: garbanzo beans, green peas, grated carrots, and/or broccoli flowerets."

    16 ounces cheese-filled tortellini
    1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
    1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
    1 onion, thinly sliced
    1/4 cup black olives, pitted & sliced (optional - I leave them out)
    1/2 cup vinegar
    1/2 cup olive oil
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
    3 tablespoons lemon juice
    salt and pepper to taste
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 dash hot pepper sauce
    1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional - I just used fresh parmesan)
    3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

    1 Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water until al dente.
    2 In a jar, combine vinegar, olive oil, fresh herbs, lemon juice, garlic powder, and hot sauce. Seal, and shake until well mixed. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
    3 In a large bowl combine, tortellini, peppers, onion, and olives. Pour lemon dressing over salad, and toss to coat pasta. Cover, and chill for at least four hours. Before serving, toss in feta and parmesan.

  4. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Washington DC
    Pasta salad is easy and fun! Mine is a sort of hodge-podge designed to minimize the dishes used and prep time. I have it down to a science:

    In a bowl large enough to hold the end product, make a vinaigrette of 1 part olive oil*, 1 part red wine vinegar (about 1/3 cup of each is enough for a 6 serving pasta salad), garlic cloves put through the garlic press, and herbs according to your preference (basil, thyme, rosemary, Mrs. Dash, parsley, oregano).

    Open, rinse, and drain three cans of beans. I usually do black beans, white beans, and kidney beans. Goya is best!

    Add the beans to the vinaigrette, and let steep for a couple of hours. The beans need a long time to absorb the flavors, especially the garlic. If you wish, cut the corn off an ear of fresh corn into this mix.

    Meanwhile, chop vegetable and put them in a steamer basket or metal colander, with the veggies needing the longest cook time at the bottom. I usually do (from bottom/first in to top/last in): zucchini and/or yellow crookneck squash, red and yellow bell pepper, green beans. I'm allergic to broccoli, but it's also a popular choice.

    Put on a pot of water to boil. Throw some sundried tomatoes into the pot to soften. When the water comes to a boil, fish out the sundried tomatoes with a slotted spoon and put aside on the cutting board.

    Pour in your pasta (I use Trader Joe's whole wheat penne, penne is the best shape for pasta salad I think, or farfalle, but it's hard to find that one in whole wheat). Put your steamer basket of vegetables on top and cover the veggies with a lid. Cook the pasta to al dente, about 8 minutes for the TJ's ww penne. While it's cooking, slice up the (now cooled) sundried tomatoes and add to the bowl. If the vegetables aren't cooked as well as you like, pour the hot pasta water over them to drain the pasta.

    Add the pasta and veggies to the beans and vinaigrette and stir to coat everything with the vinaigrette. If you put in the pasta and veggies while they're still hot it helps cook the garlic slightly and take a little of the edge off (but I love garlic, so I don't care). Slice up and add some olives. If you wish, cube some feta or fresh mozarella and add after the mixture has cooled slightly.

    This is best if it sits in the fridge overnight. In the morning, slice grape tomatoes in half and add them. You could also add some avocado in the morning--if you mix it in well, the vinegar should keep it from oxidizing. Bon Appetit!

    *Tempting, but don't skimp on the olive oil. It's good for you, makes this a more filling dish, and mellows out the vinegar and garlic.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Mine is also just a hodge podge. My dad used to make this all the time. It keeps really well and is even better the second day.

    I just cook some pasta (rainbow spirals, usually) and rinse it cold water. Then put the pasta in a large bowl and add olives (green or black), cheese (usually feta for me, but you can do cubed cheddar mozzerella or whatever you want), drained chickpeas and raw veggies (usually carrots, bell peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, anything that looks good). I also put cooked shrimp in it but you could substitute with sauteed tofu or another kind of beans if you want some more protein. Then I dump about half a bottle of low-fat italian in the bowl or mix my own vinagrette if I am feeling fancy. Let it sit for several hours in the fridge or overnight to absorb the dressing. Yum!

    This is also a great dish to make on a sunday and take in your lunches during the weeks.


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