Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pasta Salad--My Hero!

Yesterday was one of those days. You know...those days where you're running around like a spastic chicken working your tail off before your real 'work' begins. I have my own art studio, and a home cleaning business for people with special needs. And I just so happen to pride myself on providing a thrifty, happy little home with dinner on the table--even when I'm not around to putzy in the kitchen.

And it was the day before payday--the day when there are hardly any pennies left to stretch. And, to top it off--it was HOT, already nearly 80 degrees in our little 1930s house. I looked in the fridge, and suddenly epiphany(!), I had all the ingredients for a cool, colorful pasta salad for dinner.

First, of course, I boiled up some pasta in olive oil. We prefer the thin spaghetti, and sometimes angelhair. Easy peasy.

There was some cilantro in the crisper drawer that wasn't at it's freshest, but certainly wasn't bad, either. I chopped up the rest of it with my cleaver, which really needs a sharpening. It was worth it, though, I love the lemony clean taste of cilantro!!

Then the fun part, raiding the icebox for this and that. I chopped up a couple of tomatoes, really impatient for our garden ones to be ready. Chopped up an onion, and some celery. Cleaning the fridge and cooking something (ahead of time, no less!)--now that's the way to go.

Some salami was sitting neglected in the corner, just begging to be included in the pasta party.

The dressing was simple, and something do-able for even the emptiest cupboards. I took a scant 1/4 cup of olive oil, 3 tablespoons of vinegar, some garlic to taste, 1/8 teaspoon of powdered mustard, 1/8 of a teaspoon of basil, a pinch of tarragon, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, a sprinkling of paprika and pepper.

30 minutes, and my sanity was spared, and the leftovers gone! We served this lovely salad with icy cold red grapes, chilled glasses of water with lemon, and the last of the orange sherbet for dessert. Three cheers for the day before payday!

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