Yesterday I attended a get-together of my friends from the 1996 Dumaguete Writers’ Workshop, an event that was hosted by one of us, at her well-appointed home in Pasig. Usually we would have dinner at a restaurant then move to a coffee shop for dessert & coffee. Not yesterday, though. We also agreed that it would be a potluck party. One signified that she will bring chicken while our host said she’ll make Paella Negra. I committed to a pasta dish, and after seeing that there will be paella, I decided that the pasta dish will be pasta salad, dressed with a vinaigrette instead of a mayonnaise-based dressing.
However, I was busy during Saturday and was only able to shop for supplies at almost the last hour of the supermarket hours. For added convenience I intended to get a bottled Italian dressing but there was none to be found, so I decided to make my own vinaigrette and pray it would go well. Fortunately, they loved it! Even my mother, who generally preferred creamy salad dressing, was bowled over. Some friends were asking for the recipe so I’m sharing it here.
POTLUCK PASTA SALAD
- 500 grams tri-colored fusilli (macaroni or farfalle will do)
- 2 medium carrots, shaved
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced into thin disks and blanched
- 1 medium red, green, and yellow bell pepper, diced and blanched
- 2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and cut into thin slices
- 200 grams cheddar cheese, diced (Swiss and Feta will work too)
- 1 medium iceberg lettuce
- 100 grams salami, cut into ribbons
- 100 grams luncheon ham, diced
Other meat options:
- 200 grams chicken or turkey breast, boiled or grilled and diced and/ or
- 200 grams medium shrimp, boiled and shelled
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup canola oil (or any other oil with neutral taste)
- 1/2 cup red onion, minced
- 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1.5 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp roasted sesame dressing
- a dash of thyme
- Cook the pasta according to the package direction. Drain and set aside.
- In a big bowl, whisk all the dressing ingredients.
- Add all the salad ingredients except the lettuce and toss well. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours (I kept mine overnight and it still worked)
- To serve, lay the lettuce leaves on the serving dish and put the pasta salad on it. Serves 6-8.
If you’re making this, do let me know how it turns out, okay?