Saturday, August 21, 2010

Pasta Salad & Bruschetta...

I learned how to make a pasta salad when I visited my friend in Amsterdam in year ....hmm... lets see.... yes..2004... In those days we called it 'leftover kraft dinner'...!
As time goes by, I became 'more sophisticated' and minimised the ingredients and still have a great tasting dish. They make great side salads or full meals.

If the heat of the Ramadhan is getting to you, this is a lovely cold pasta salad for a hot day.
I made this fettucini pasta early in the afternoon and then let it marinate all afternoon in the fridge. By Buka Puasa time, it was a snap to quickly pull together.

It is easy to prepare, and even the novice cook can put together this delicious salad.
... and is hearty enough to serve as the main course...
...and this is what we had for our Buka Puasa yesterday...

"An easy, yet very yummy pasta salad. Almost any type of pasta may be used. Best if left to sit overnight."

Fettuccine Pasta
Shredded roasted chicken (leftovers will do)
Ripe Tomato - chopped (keep the juice)
Basil leaves - chopped (fresh tastes better)
Cilantro (Corriander leaves)
Extra Virgin Oil
Cloves of Garlic
Ground Pepper
Salt to taste

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil.
Throw in the pasta and cloves of garlic, boil until al dente, drain and run under cold water to cool. Put the garlic to one side for dressing.
Place the pasta into a bowl.
Chop the tomatoes, basil, cilantro and add to the bowl.
Add shredded roasted chicken.
Squash the garlic cloves out of their skins and mush in a pestle and mortar.
Add the extra virgin oil, salt and pepper.
Drizzle this over the salad, adding a little more seasoning to taste.

... and for Buka Puasa Appetizer, we had...BRUSCHETTA
Bruschetta is one of the simplest things in the world to make, and can be very satisfying if you have good extra virgin oil.

With an appetizer this simple, quality ingredients are key - use ripe tomatoes, extra virgin oil and Baguette (a long thin loaf of French bread" ). I customized the recipe to my own taste (isn't that almost the case..!) and use riped tomateos and chopped them by hand, rather than in food proccessor.

1 Baquette French Bread
2 ripe Tomatoes - chopped
1 clove of garlic - minced
1 tbspn Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh Basil leaves - chopped
Cilantro (corriander leaves) - chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

Slice the baquette on a diagonal about 1/2 inc thick slices. Coat one side of each slice with olive oil using a pastry brush. Place on cooking sheet - olive oil side down. Toast until the bread just begins to turn golden brown.

While bread is toasting. Prepare the toppings. In a mixing bowl, add chopped tomatoes, basil, corriander, garlic and olive oil and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Align the bread on a serving platter, olive side up. Top each slice with the tomatoes, do it right before serving or the bread may get soggy.

Done..! How easy is that..!

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