Pasta La Vista

I would love to take credit for the witty title, but there is actually a restaurant in Winnipeg called Pasta La Vista. A pretty tasty joint, I must say. And a clever enough name for me to want to use it as a post title.

So, I bet you can guess that pasta was on the menu for dinner. But what did I do with that pasta? I went with a summer time classic – pasta salad!

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I always use my mom’s recipe, which is so simple, it’s almost stupid. But it always yields a delicious pasta salad. Trust me on this one!

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First, cook up a box of your pasta of choice – I went with a box (375g) of whole wheat fusilli. Follow the box directions. Drain that pasta, and throw it in your chosen pasta salad receptacle. While it’s still hot, toss it with the easiest dressing you will ever make:

  • 1/4 cup salad oil (I used canola)
  • 2-3 tbsp white vinegar (I used 3 – I like tang)
  • 1 tsp salt (increase to 1 1/2 tsp if you didn’t salt your pasta while cooking)
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper

It’s that simple. Sure, you could get fancy and use flavoured oils or other vinegars, but I encourage you to try it as is. You’ll be surprised.

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Once your pasta has cooled a bit, add your veggies of choice. I added the following to mine:

  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/2 long english cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • frozen peas (~3/4 cup)
  • frozen corn (~1/2 cup)

I also like to add cheese and seafood to my salad, but I only add it as eat a portion. I find the cheese gets slimy if you leave it in there for few days. Also, this way, you can customize your salad based on your mood that day. And if you like a creamy pasta salad, stir in a a little mayo when you go to eat it – say 2 tsp or so. Trust me, it’s all you need to kick it up that notch!

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As you can see, I added some little shrimps (west coasters) and sheep’s milk feta to my salad, along with a touch of low-fat mayo. I love this stuff. It’s the perfect summer food – you only have to heat the kitchen up once to boil the pasta, and you are good to go for a week. It’s a fresh, light meal, that you can vary based on your tastes and what you have on hand.

And I will apologize now for the fact that you will be seeing this salad all week. That’s the one downfall of living on your own – lots of salad = lots of repetitive meals. I know I could have made a small batch, but I’m in “clean out the cupboards/fridge/freezer” mode, and this used up a box of pasta, a can of chickpeas, and the last of my frozen vegetables.

Another low key evening – dishes, reading, tv, some stretching & ab work on the mat. It’s just too hot, even in my basement suite, to have alot of motivation to do anything! I’ve been downing water like it’s going out of style all night – I’m so going to be up in the wee hours of the morning to visit la salle de bain (sounds fancier when you say it en Français).

Snack time came around, and I made it something cool and refreshing, and another classic of my mom’s – banana in milk.

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As kids, this was a popular dessert option. A sliced banana, sprinkled with a little sugar, and covered in milk. I fancied mine up a little with brown sugar, shredded coconut, and a little coconut extract in the milk. I don’t know what made me want this – I’m not really a big banana fan if there’s no peanut butter involved, but it just seemed like the right choice tonight. Maybe I was feeling a little nostalgic for some of my mom’s simple food ideas. Or maybe it’s just because it’s too damn hot to think of anything better!

Well, I’m going to go read in bed, and then attempt sleep, seeing as I still have a job to go to tomorrow morning. Night!

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Categories: Dessert, Dinner, Recipe

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3 Comments on “Pasta La Vista”

  1. July 27, 2009 at 6:00 am #

    There is nothing wrong with repeating a delicious dish! I was going through a salad faze fora while the last couple months, but I am slowly getting out of the faze since I have not been ery creative with my salads. Perhaps I neat to get into a pasta faze, as I’ve seen so many neat pasta creations lately! I especialy love the addition of your sheep’s milk feta.

  2. July 27, 2009 at 6:56 am #

    Great pasta dish! I’m looking forward to seeing what other additions you incorporate this week.

    We used to eat strawberries and ilk when I was a kid. Your banana dish just reminded me of that!

  3. July 27, 2009 at 7:34 am #

    KISS meals are always good – minimal ingredients, maximum tastes 😉 Love the sounds of that pasta salad! My friend’s mom made one once that was ‘chicken caesar pasta salad’ = chicken, pasta, and caesar salad dressing. It was ridiculously good!

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