Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Zingy Chifferi Rigati Pasta Salad!

"But, you must remember, whatever you eat, make sure you have at least one bowl of salad with it." 
-- S.A. Tawks, in The Spirit of Imagination

I love salads. They are not just appetising but also very cheerful, and of course one cannot rave enough about salad's health benefits! The days when my family gets bored of eating the routine rice, roti and veggies combination, I rustle up salad spreads for them. Most of the times I love putting together sprouts salad as a side dish with lunch and it gets devoured even before we are half way through eating.

Besides sprouts salad, another item that is an evergreen favourite is the pasta salad - there are so many ways one can prepare this Italian gift to the world. Pasta is one ingredient that is so versatile that you can team it up with anything - with fruits and vegetables and different dressings, and it will taste delicious every single time. Moreover there are so many varieties of pasta available that one can keep experimenting with the different types, and never complain of boredom! So when I heard of Del Monte's Italian Escapades campaign, quite obviously I decide to make a pasta salad!

Zingy Chifferi Rigati Pasta Salad!

Since it is still pretty hot in many parts of the country (despite the rains), I decided to make a cold pasta salad which is refreshing as well as healthy. The idea was to stay away from cheese and heavy ingredients and make a salad dish that could serve as a filling substitute for full-fledged meal. I used Del Monte's Chifferi Rigati pasta for the salad, which is small-sized and goes well for salad dishes. Here's the recipe for you.

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4 

Ingredients for salad
  • 2 cups durum wheat pasta (I have used Chifferi Rigati)
  • 1 bowl of cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
  • 1 bowl of sweet corn kernels
  • 1 bowl finely chopped cucumber
  • 1/2 bowl of almonds (pre-soaked in water for an hour and then sliced)
  • 1 bowl of fresh mint leaved
  • 1 bowl of curd

Okay I tried my hand at making a video of the ingredients, my first attempt at video. Do tell me how it looks.

Here's a quick photo of the ingredients -

Ingredients for salad dressing

Besides the above mentioned items, these are the items that you would need for salad dressing - 
  • Extra virgin olive oil (2 tablespoons)
  • Red chilli flakes
  • 1 chopped de-seeded green chilli
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt as per taste
Here's a video of the dressing ingredients -

Here's a photo of the dressing ingredients -


  • Heat 4 cups of water in a deep saucepan and when the water comes to a boil, add pasta, 2 spoonful of oil and a pinch of salt in it.
  • Cook the pasta until it's soft and then drain in a colander. Now the run the pasta through cold water, drizzle a bit of olive oil so it does not stick together and keep it aside.
  • Take a deep pan or bowl and mix the cooked pasta, cucumber, sweet corn, almonds, cherry tomatoes and green chillies.
  • Add 2 tablespoon of lemon juice.
  • For the dressing - Add curd and mint leaves in a mixer grinder and blitz. Pour this over the pasta mix and toss well.
  • Now add salt and red chilli flakes as per taste.
  • Sprinkle a little extra virgin olive oil and toss again.

Lo and behold! Your Zingy Chifferi Rigati pasta salad is ready! Garnish it with fresh mint leaves and cherry tomatoes and serve cold.

Here's the video of the making of the salad.

"What is more refreshing than salads when your appetite seems to have deserted you, or even after a capacious dinner - the nice, fresh and crisp salad, full of life and health, which seems to invigorate the palate and dispose the masticating powers to a much longer  duration."

-- Alexis Soyer, 19th century French celebrity chef

Time and again, chefs and food connoisseurs across the world have shared their take on the importance of salad in our diet. Traditionally they were generally prepared out of raw vegetables like cucumber, onion and cabbage, but with time, now we see there are so many varieties of vegetarian and non vegetarian salads where one can customise them according to their taste and availability of ingredients.

I am really happy how my Zingy Chifferi Rigati psata salad has come out. The photos here are not of great quality, but everyone who's sampling the salad has only superlative things to say about this preparation, and needless to say, their response is making me super happy!

And before I wrap this post up, did I tell you about the secret ingredient that I added to my pasta salad? No?
Okay then here it is - half a bowl of sugar coated raisins! They are all neatly hidden underneath the pasta!

So now when you are preparing your pasta salad, after you have added the key ingredients to the pasta, before dressing it up, add half a bowl of dry raisins or you can also soak them up in water for 15 minutes if you want. This adds a lovely dash of sweetness to the pasta and tastes better than sugar. Hope you enjoyed this twist in the recipe!

If you are trying this one at home, I would love to hear how it came out.  And before I say bye, here's another lovely food quote or rather salad quote for you! Happy cooking!

"Salad freshens without enfeebling and fortifies without irritating." 
-- Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, French politician and gastronome

This post is a part of Del Monte India's #ItalianEscapades campaign in association with Indiblogger.

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