Easy dinner in 20 minutes: pasta salad

On work day evenings, especially if it’s hot outside, it would be a sin to stay in the kitchen for too long of a time, preparing dinner. So a good and fast solution for a yummy dinner is a pasta salad.

Pasta is a pretty universal food when it comes to making something tasty and on a low time schedule. Since it requires only a few minutes to boil, your dinner can be served in less than 20 minutes. Warm foods can cause a bit more stress since they have to be eaten warm. Pasta is great because if it’s cold – you just make it into a salad. Therefore you can still take it everywhere with you and enjoy it cold.

More on pasta recipes check out our article Types of pasta sauce.

What kind of pasta to choose?

The best pasta for salads is the shorter one. You definitely don’t want any long noodles in your salad since it won’t mix that good with other ingredients. As long as the pasta is short, dish will be a success! Of course it is not the end of the world if the pasta you have at home is not too short.

Whatever kind of pasta is found at home, they’ll all fit for salad, even the big snail shapes in which you can fill the finer sliced vegetables. 

There are many kinds of pasta. You can see for yourself in our article Types of pasta noodles.

Pick your ingredients

Those 10 minutes while pasta boils, get right to the process of preparing the other ingredients. Those can be chosen completely to your own taste.

Chop the chicken fillet, cut into finer pieces the ham, chop off the canned tuna or toss in some yummy mushrooms of your choice. Don’t forgetto add some fresh vegetables to give your meal some nutritions. It can be some tomatoes, cucumbers, paprika, corn etc. Anything you want really!

If you want something more interesting, there is also an option to mix in fruit for pasta salad, such as melon or pineapple, especially if it is planned to add chicken.

In addition to make the meal more tasty think about the choice of cheese. Both mozzarella cheese and soft cheese balls will suit well here, and the blue or bran pieces will taste very sweet. When it comes to salad sauces, use what is available to you at home. Or allow your imagination do the trick – mix some oil with herbs, add yogurt with fresh greens or cover the salad generously with pesto.

Some additional tips for preparing pasta

pasta salad

Here are some more tips on how to make sure you know exactly what to do when it comes to cooking pasta. Enjoy!

How to know pasta is cooked?

One of the best ways to check if the pasta is prepared – with a fork to remove some pasta from the pot and taste it. The Italians even recommend putting it in their hands for it to cool down more quickly.

One of the old methods of testing if the pasta is done is throwing it against the wall. If the buttered pasta sticks to the wall, it’s ready. If the pasta falls on the floor, it’s not ready yet.

Use a lot of water and make it salty

A lot of water is used to boil pasta. On 450 grams of pasta, nearly five liters of water and a 10-liter saucepan are needed. The pasta, like the tango dancers, needs room for free movement. If the pot is not large enough, it is necessary to boil the pasta two seperate times.

Salt water matters a lot – not only to amplify pasta but also to help it soak up added flavor. Two teaspoons of salt will be enough for five liters of water.

Do not rinse your pasta

Pasta is not washed in cold water! They are simply punctuated, so that the starch in the pasta is not lost and they retain their taste.

Boil one type of pasta at a time

In one saucepan don’t boil two different forms of pasta! Each has its own cooking duration, so if you don’t want half the pasta dissolved, and the other half “al dente,” stick to one shape.

The ideal portion for one person is simple. If pasta is intended as an additive, 60 grams of pasta (weight before boiling) will be sufficient for one person. But if pasta is a basic dish, then double that number.

Bon appetit!

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