One of my favorite things that Mom makes is pasta salad. Not even sure where she found the idea twenty-ish years ago, but it’s very tasty. It’s a great dish to make ahead and take for lunch.
The recipe is ridiculously simple. Boil two pounds of pasta of choice (I used farfalle and conchiglie here, but usually use rotini) in slightly salted water. I usually drain it just before it’s al dente otherwise it becomes mushy because it will soak up some of the dressing. Once it’s drained, run it under cold water to stop the cooking. While the pasta is cooking, I prep whatever I want to throw in it. I’ve only done this with a Mediterranean bend, but I don’t see why this would work with other cuisines.
I put the following in: red bell pepper, carrots, hard salami, kalamata olives, capers, cherry tomatoes, red onion, pepperoncini, mozzarella, and green olives. Fresh herbs would also be good mixed in here. When the pasta is done and the veggies are prepped, mix them together along with Italian dressing to taste. I usually toss in a little salt and pepper to taste, as well. Just as a word of caution, two pounds of pasta is quite a bit. This was lunch for a whole week.
Last night Lindsay, a couple of friends, and I went to one of our favorite pizza places.
Pizza Lucé is local chain that offers higher end specialty pizza, pasta, salads, sandwiches, appetizers, and desserts. Plus they have a bar with a great beer selection (Yes, I partook of some very delicious and a bit of bitter orange Surly Furious). They have many items on the menu that can be Vegan or Gluten-Free. If you live in/near Minnesota I recommend making the trip. Even if you aren’t in the area, you should check them out: http://pizzaluce.com/
I didn’t remember to snap photos of everything, but here is what is some of what we ordered:
From their website: “Critics agree—we put the art in artichoke dip. In fact, each order is an identical baked reproduction of Picasso’s best known work from his acclaimed “Parmesan-Cream Cheese-Artichoke Hearts and Garlic” period. Love at first bite? Yes. Served with two loaves of our toasted homemade focaccia bread.”
Bowtie pasta, roasted corn, spiced pumkin cream sauce, and scallion greens for garnish. Also it came with two pieces of garlic toast. Very nice fall flavors.
Again from their site: “You don’t need to consult some internet oracle to know this little goddess has fresh spinach, tomato, feta cheese, Kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, red onions, Greek oregano and toasted garlic with light mozzarella on Bianca sauce.”
Everyone left very full and very satisfied. The only flaw with the entire meal was when I was carrying out the leftovers, the pasta container slipped off and I lost a bit to the floor. Yes, I did clean it up.