The habit of making lazy lunches on weekdays is kinda setting in. Pasta salad is one such dish I keep repeating if I can’t be bothered to cook something more elaborate. Plus they are really forgiving; throw in anything you feel like in a bowl of cooked pasta. Season & toss and you have an instant meal that you’ll wolf down just as fast.

For salads, short or decorative shaped pasta is best. Macaroni, farfalle, penne rigate and coquillage are good options. In this post I’m using Panzani‘s cute spiral shaped torti.  It’s the only brand of pasta I’ve ever used and gives pretty consistent results.

You should definitely top it with some grated parmesan if you love cheese [like me]. The family is not fond of anything that smells of cooked cheese so I tend to keep those recipes for days when I’m home alone. Not that I mind 😉

PASTA SALAD

  

Ingredients:

3 cups uncooked pasta

1 cup chicken, diced

2 medium carrots

1 handful french beans

1/4 cup sweet corn kernel, drained

2 large tomatoes, diced

1 red onion, diced

2 large eggs

12 large prawns, deveined

1 bunch spring onions, chopped

Salt & Pepper, to taste

 

Method:

  • Prepare chicken by rubbing it in a mixture of salt, pepper, sweet paprika and lemon juice. Let it stand for about 1 hour.
  • Dice carrot into 1/2 cm cubes and chop french beans into slivers. Stir fry french beans over low heat until tender.

 

  • You can also cook them along with the carrots if you dnt like your veggies raw. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Cook chicken in a large pan in its own steam for abt 30 mins.

  

  • Next fry the eggs and cut them into strips. Stir fry prawns.
  • Bring water to boil in large pan. Throw in pasta and 2tsp salt.
  • Cook over medium heat until al dente for about 5-7 minutes.

 

  • Drain and toss with 1 tbs oil and 1 tbs dark mushroom sauce.
  • In a large bowl mix all the ingredients and season with salt & pepper.  Garnish with spring onion and serve right away.

 

For the rich buttery pound cake below, I halved the recipe from my food processor cookbook and added some tutti fruitti instead of raisins. You might notice that they barely show up on the pics as I only had half of what the recipe calls for. I served half of it for afternoon tea and saved the rest for guests who were to show up later that afternoon. Hmm, it could well have been a cake of halves!

TUTTI FRUITI CAKE

  

Ingredients:

125g unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

1 2/3 cup cake flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 pinch salt

75 ml milk

100g tutti fruiti

 

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 160 oC. Grease and line a 7×3 inch loaf pan.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until pale.
  • Add eggs and vanilla and beat to a fluffy consistency.

 

  • Sift flour, baking powder and salt in another bowl.
  • Carefully fold dry ingredients into egg mixture with a spatula alternating with milk till well combined but do not overmix.
  • Stir in tutti fruiti before you spoon batter into prepared pan.
  • Bake for 40 mins until skewer comes out clean from centre.
  • Cool completely and dust with icing sugar if desired.

Note: The drink featured on the Tutti Fruiti cake pics is a mug of Vico’s 3 in 1 cereal drink with oat, soya and malt.

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