Sunday, September 1, 2013

Pasta Salad

In the U.S. Labor Day is the unofficial end of Summer. Many like to celebrate the day with a festive meal as is also traditionally done at the beginning of the Summer season. One staple is the pasta salad. Easy to prepare, economical, and can make large or small servings.

"Pasta salad is a dish prepared with one or more types of pasta, usually chilled, and most often tossed in a vinegar, oil or mayonnaise-based dressing. It is typically served as an appetizer or a main course. The ingredients used vary widely by region, restaurant, seasonal availability, and/or preference of the preparer."

"The salad can be as simple as cold macaroni mixed with mayonnaise, or as elaborate as several pastas tossed together with a vinaigrette and a variety of fresh, preserved or cooked ingredients. These can include vegetables, legumes, cheeses, nuts, herbs, spices, meats, poultry, or seafood. Broccoli, carrots, baby corn, cucumbers, olives, onions, beans, chick peas, peppers, parmesan and feta cheeses are all popular ingredients in versions typically found at North American salad bars. Pasta salad is often regarded as a spring or summertime meal, but can be served year-round."

"In Australian and New Zealand cuisine, pasta salad became increasingly popular during the 1990s when commercial versions became more readily available in supermarket stores across both Australia, and New Zealand. It is made up of cooked pasta pieces (usually either shell pasta, elbow shaped pasta or Penne) covered in mayonnaise and accompanied by carrots, capsicum (bell peppers), and sometimes celery. It is similar in style to the American macaroni salad."

"Macaroni salad is a type of pasta salad, served cold made with cooked elbow macaroni and usually prepared with mayonnaise. Much like potato salad or coleslaw in its use, it is often served as a side dish to barbecue, fried chicken, or other picnic style entrées. Like any dish, national and regional variations abound but generally it is prepared with raw diced onions, dill or sweet pickles and celery and seasoned with salt and pepper."

"In Australia, and New Zealand it is commonly known as pasta salad which is usually made with cooked shell pasta pieces and brought from supermarket delis. In Hawaii macaroni salad is a popular staple in plate lunches. In the Philippines, macaroni salad has a mildly sweet flavor. Chicken is more often used in the dish. It is served in parties and gatherings. In Puerto Rico macaroni salad is made with canned tuna, onions, Cubanelle peppers and pimentos."

"The Cubanelle is a variety of sweet pepper of the species Capsicum annuum. When unripe, it is light yellowish-green in color, but will turn bright red if allowed to ripen. Compared to bell peppers it has thinner flesh, is longer, and has a slightly more wrinkled appearance. It is used extensively in the cuisine of the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico."
"Cubanelle peppers are used in the U.S. to replace Poblano peppers. Most of the cubanelle pepper imports come from the Dominican Republic (where it is called ají cubanela), which has, of late, been the main exporter of this cultivar. This pepper is on the lower end of the HEAT scale measured in scoville units. Measuring in at about 1000 on the scoville scale, its more sweet than spicy as compared to a jalapeño."

"The Scoville scale is the measurement of the pungency (spicy heat) of chili peppers. The number of Scoville heat units (SHU)indicates the amount of capsaicin present per unit of dry mass. Capsaicin is a chemical compound that stimulates chemoreceptor nerve endings in the skin, especially the mucous membranes.

The scale is named after its creator, American pharmacist Wilbur Scoville. His method, devised in 1912, is known as the Scoville Organoleptic Test. The modern commonplace method for quantitative analysis uses high-performance liquid chromatography, making it possible to directly measure capsaicinoid content."

From wikiHOW
Classic Macaroni Salad

8 oz/ 1-3/4 cups macaroni pasta
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon freshly ground sea salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 cup celery, sliced thinly
1 red or green bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup chopped sweet or red onion

Cook the macaroni pasta shapes. Follow the package instructions for timing. Drain. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Ensure the rinsed pasta is free of water. In a separate bowl mix the dressing. Place the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard and sugar in a large salad bowl. Mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the celery, green pepper and onion pieces. Stir throughly. Add the cooked macaroni. Stir through gently so as not to break the pasta and to ensure that the pasta is completely covered. Serve. This salad is fine served at either room temperature or chilled. If not serving immediately, place in the refrigerator, covered, until needed.

Text Credits: Wikipedia Wikipedia Wikipedia Wikipedia wikiHOW || Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons


Culver Oliver said...
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harshal thomas said...
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Handy Gilbert said...

Your salad sounds wonderful Diane Using garden fresh ingredients is the best part of summer. Thanks for hosting each week. I brought a Spicy Black Bean, Corn, and Shrimp Salad. pasta salad.

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