When it's hot outside, pasta can bring cold comforts. Dial your noodles down to chill as Fabio gives away the secret tips and tricks to a perfectly textured, deeply Italian flavored pasta salad. Plus, his secrets to keep your pasta from being soggy!
Mayo 101: Mayonnaise is the perfect base for herbs and spices. Making your own mayo is an easy way to control fat content and infuse flavor, and it's way cheaper than buying it.
PASTA SHAPE MATTERS: elbow pasta is not ideal for cold salads, as it's not firm enough. Choose pasta only slightly bigger than your vegetable dice, with textures, such as fusilli, to help grab onto the dressing. Cool the pasta down with cold water right after boiling to help keep it al dente.
Cure for Boring: Balance both flavors and textures in order to create a pasta salad that is NEVER ignored at barbecues. If you texture your salad right, it won't sog out.
Cold Pasta Salad
Recipe by Fabio Viviani
Yield: 8-12 servings
For the mayo:
20 leaves fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
¼ c lemon juice
2-4 cups light olive oil
For the salad:
1 lb. fusilli pasta
1 cup diced cherry tomatoes
2 cups arugula
1 red and 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup buffalo mozzarella cheese, diced
1 cup chopped black olives
3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
¼ lb prosciutto, chopped
¼ lb salami, chopped
½ cup capers
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Quickly blanch basil and remove.
Add pasta and cook according to directions, reducing cook time by five minutes.
Meanwhile, place eggs, salt, pepper, and lemon juice in food processor.
Turn the food processor on, and leave running. Slowly drizzle in oil, until the mixture thickens into mayonnaise.
Add blanched basil and blend til mixed.
Remove pasta from heat and cool down with cold water, then drain.
Place pasta in a large bowl, and add all remaining ingredients.
Toss with the basil mayo until everything is evenly distributed through the salad.
Chill at least one hour before serving.