Warm pasta salad
Ever since I whipped up my slaw dressing, I’ve had a healthy respect for raw cabbage. Ok, ok…this is mainly a sneaky attempt on my behalf to direct you to my new dressings & sauces page (for which there is a permalink under the “My pages” section to your right). It’s all for good reason, however. It’s been sunnyish recently (still freezing though of course, quite literally for once) so it seemed appropriate for a non-roast. Eating this salad made me feel like slipping back into a bikini and hitting the beach, but it was creamy enough to ensure I stayed put. It’s just the sort of thing that I’ll be eating possibly all summer (although I’m not sure what all the mayo/hollandaise is going to do to my bikini prospects). It takes barely any time to throw together, has raw vegetables (did I mention that they’re much better for you than cooked veges? Watch Food Matters if you’re intrigued), and is creamy, crunchy, tangy, soft and mildly sweet – all at the same time. Indeed.
Just in case I haven’t already mentioned this, a great big thank you goes to my flatmate Adam whose brother made the gorgeous hot pot wood block thingee that has been gracing so many of my photos. Its rich, warm golden hues always make me feel all caramelly inside.
A quick note before I divulge the recipe: Some added nuts, particularly walnuts, but possibly also roasted pistachios or roasted cashews will add even more deliciousness and protein. To roast cashews, heat on a single layer on a plate in the microwave or oven on high or 180C (350F) at a time, turning/tossing at 2 minute intervals until golden. Cashews will feel rubbery at firstbut will harden up as they cool. Wish I had thought of it before devouring the lot, but after tasting the first sliver of dressing-endowed cabbage, there was no stopping me.
Warm pasta salad
serves 2 relatively big eaters
Half a 500g bag of pasta (preferably shaped), or however much pasta you normally have
Hearty amount of salt for the pasta
1 onion, finely chopped
about 2 c very thinly sliced (or “shaved”) cabbage (green, red or Chinese will all work)
about 1/2 c peas
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
about 15g butter
Slaw dressing (quantities are approximate)
1/3 (heaping) c quality mayo or hollandaise (Japanese mayo or Kato Hollandaise, or Free Range mayo…any thick stuff that’s not too white)
1 1/2 Tbs white wine vinegar, or white vinegar, or lemon juice
1/2 Tbs dijon or wholegrain mustard
plenty of freshly ground black pepper
about 1/4c powder fine grated aged gouda or parmesan (optional)
a handful of walnuts, cashews, pine nuts or pistachio nuts (optional)
Place your pasta on to cook according to packet instructions, with salt. Don’t worry about using oil, it’ll just make the pan greasy and annoying to wash. Just make sure you occasionally stir. Just ask Donna Hay!
While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a medium frypan on medium heat, add a pinch of salt and the onions. Let cook, stirring occasionaly, until properly golden. Mix in peas (if frozen) and garlic, and cover, letting cook for about a minute. Uncover, stir, and cover again for another minute. Continue doing this until the peas are cooked. DO NOT BOIL THE PEAS. Thank you. Remove from heat, and leave cover on the pan until pasta is done.
Mix up the dressing in a cup or small bowl (or if you hate dishes you can mix it up in a large bowl you’ll be eating the salad out of). Mix the cabbage into the dressing, then mix in the peas, onions and garlic. Finally, once the pasta is cooked, drain and immediately mix in to the other ingredients. Scatter over any nuts you wish to use, and serve while warm, although it’s also fine cold. If you want it for the next day, make sure you cover the salad (with a pot cover or plate if you want to save money on clingfilm).