Could This Be The Best Pasta Salad Ever? Mark Thompson January 18, 2017 Cooking, Cool When one thinks of a pasta salad what inevitably comes to mind is it being light. This property of salads, in general, is what makes them a number one dinner dish, or right before going to bed snack. And pasta salads are not only light, but they are more likely to satiate your hunger than a simple veggie salad. Why Should You Opt for a Pasta Salad? Besides the reason mentioned above, there are a few other pros when it comes to opting for a pasta salad rather than a regular dinner dish. Quick How much time do spaghetti need to get boiled? Minutes! How much time do meatloaf or pork chops need to get prepared? Hours! So? There is no room for dilemmas here unless you are preparing a very important dinner and you have to go to great lengths to satisfy your guests’ palates, pasta salads are just what you need to quickly satiate your hunger. Easy You don’t have to be a pro to know how to boil your favorite pasta, be it spaghetti, fusilli, penne, or rotini, the boiling part is pretty straight forward. You should just decide whether you want them al dente (undercooked) or soft. (I always add a few drops of olive oil in the process of boiling, it really gives them a specific and scrumptious flavor). Makes Use of Leftovers Being resourceful is what makes cooks great! In fact, it is precisely resourcefulness that can take the credit for the invention of new and tasty recipes. How do you think the Caesar salad came to be? An Italian by the name of Caesar Cardini, in a lack of supplies, and pressed for time, since it was the 4th of July weekend, decided to lean on resourcefulness and used whatever he got handy in his refrigerator to create this now famous Sonic salads recipe. The same goes for pasta salads, you can make use of leftovers in the form of greens, seeds, and even sausages and salami. The Best Pasta Salad Recipe Out of all the scrumptious recipes that can be found on the web, my personal favorite must be the Best Easy Italian Pasta Salad. Now, even though I have decided to reveal my favorite recipe, the road to discovering it was paved with a few not so good pasta recipes, and I’ve learned the hard way that you cannot just combine the ingredients as you please, or get all the leftover food in a bowl and expect to get a proper meal. It is true, making use of leftovers is one of the advantages when it comes to preparing this type of salad. Nevertheless, there were recipes I’ve tried that I wish I have never prepared, but believe me when I say, the above-mentioned one is definitely worth it! (I would go through all of it again if it meant finding this great Italian pasta salad recipe). There is one thing you should know, though, the preparation itself might be pretty quick, but you will have to wait for the sauce to get cooler (although I used it warm over al dente spaghetti and it was nothing short of AWESOME). But, you can always make loads of it and store it in the fridge for the following day, so I guess that is a plus. Why This Pasta Salad Recipe is Better Than All the Others? We all know that the taste is something you don’t argue over and personal preferences are subjective, but not when it comes to this salad! I can vouch for the fact that whoever tries this salad will say that it is their favorite, or at least one of their favorite salads. And this is only taste-wise. Let’s see the health benefits of all the different ingredients this pasta salad recipe makes use of: Greens Basil Basil is an aromatic herb of the mint family (Lamiaceae). The name itself comes from Greek βασιλικόν φυτόν (basilikón phutón) and it literally means “royal plant”. This is not a coincidence since basil is an important medicinal plant in Southeast Asia and India and it has long been revered for its many health benefits. ½ cup of fresh chopped basil contains: 2 calories 0 fat, protein, sugar or fiber vitamin A – 56 milligrams vitamin C – 4 milligrams vitamin K – 88 milligrams manganese – 0.24 milligrams It is common knowledge that basil has long been used in cooking because of its distinct aroma, provided by the volatile essential oils, which are also “to blame” for this herb’s many health benefits. The consumption of basil will result in a boosted immune system, a body devoid of oxidants, and an impeccable oral health. This is due to the many antioxidants, vitamins and the magnesium it contains which make basil an anti-microbial and anti-bacterial agent that fights bacteria and germs. Although the recipe itself calls for only 2 tablespoons of fresh basil, and the half a cup mentioned above translates into 8 tablespoons, you will still get many of the nutrients. (I like to add three tablespoons, but only because I really enjoy the basil’s aroma). Parsley This fresh herb or dried spice is a species of Petroselinum in the family Apiaceae that originates from the central Mediterranean region (Algeria, Greece, southern Italy, and Tunisia), and it has long been praised for its health-promoting features. Among the many abilities it can boast of, parsley can naturally detox the body, can be used as an antiseptic and diuretic, and it is an anti-inflammatory agent. ½ cup of fresh chopped parsley contains: 8 calories 0 grams of fat, sugar, carbs, protein or fiber Vitamin A – 128 mg Vitamin C – 40 mg Vitamin K – 496 mg Calcium – 40 mg Folate – 48 mg Iron – 92 mg Magnesium – 16 mg Potassium – 168 mg This table should give you a clearer picture of the benefits parsley can provide us with. Being rich in vitamins A, C, and K as well as phenolic compounds, makes parsley an all-natural herb to consume and thus ensure a healthy cardiovascular system, improved brain function and regulated digestive system. Allium Garlic The stinking rose, as garlic has aptly ben called, is consumed all over the world. Precisely its specific odor, or aroma, to some, is what makes it a common ingredient in savory dishes including this tasty pasta salad. The very thing that provides garlic with its distinct smell and taste is the hydrogen sulfide and it is precisely this sulfide that gives garlic its anti-cancerous, hearth-promoting and blood pressure lowering features. A confession: It is actually garlic that makes this pasta salad my favorite! Onions You will forget all about the teary eyes once you know how beneficial onions can be for your overall well-being. The sulfur compounds that can be found in garlic are also present in onions. This means that consuming onions will reduce the bad cholesterol levels and those of triglycerides. Onions are also rich in polyphenols, which play a crucial part in preventing the occurrence and reducing the progression of cancer, and neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases. The ripe tomatoes go perfectly well with all of the above-mentioned veggies, and just a pinch of black pepper will do wonders when it comes to the taste of this pasta salad. The wine vinegar completes everything and you will get the perfect pasta salad ready for your forks to dig into! As for the spaghetti, you can always opt for whole grain ones, the difference is hardly detectable. Either way, a scrumptious pasta salad is definitely the way to go whenever you want a quick, easy to prepare and most importantly, scrumptious dinner or lunch recipe! Next time you are craving a pasta salad, prepare the Garden Pasta Salad! The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts Mark Thompson Mark is the Editor-in-Chief of So Good Blog. 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