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Pasta Salad Week - Playing With Colors and Shapes

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Now that we have gone over many pasta salad basics, I have a few awesome ones to show you that I made to bring to that beach party from last week. Yesterday I hinted a little about making sure to have at least 3 different colors besides the pasta. I feel that this is really important because it causes people to salivate for your pasta when they first see it. Bring either of these to your 4th of July party, and they will be a huge hit! I came up with both of these ideas focused more on the shapes rather than the colors. I thought of the pasta shapes and tried to emulate them with the other ingredients. Here we have noodle salad, and ball salad.

Pasta Salad Week Menu

Monday:       Intro and Old Pasta Salad Posts
Tuesday:      Old Standbys
Wednesday: A healthier Version
Thursday:     Leftover Pasta Salads
Today:          Playing with Colors and Shapes

 


First the noodle salad. Mandi took a long time to get these carrots to be shaped like perfect fettuccini.



This prep is 2 nights before the party.



Lots of salt, pepper, and vinegar in here. I filled it to the top with some water because I didn't have enough vinegar to cover them all. This is sort of a pickleing/brineing stage to get these veggies soft and noodley. Throw this in the fridge and shake it every so often.



Ok, now we are on to the next day. The night before the party. Mandi cut some scallions and zucchini to match the noodle size. These two veggies didn't need as long in vinegar and salt as the others so we only put them in the mix the night before.







I strained out the liquid, filled it with water, and strained it once again. This was just to get some of the excess salt off. Then add some diced jalapenos in with the zucchini and scallions.



Here it is with some sesame oil and rice wine vinegar added.



Finally the morning of the party! Mandi wanted to cut the pasta in half so it matched the veggie sizes better.



A simple dressing





Sesame Seeds are the best. Toast them up first.







Now on to ball salad!  Here is my sister making the melon balls.



Yum.





Matt loves cucumber.



I love this huge cous cous. It is harder to find than normal cous cous. It's called Israeli cous cous at my store



You don't cook it like normal cous cous. I usually just boil and strain it like pasta.





Cucumber, cantaloupe, and watermelon.





Mozzarella balls.



Some basil, salt, pepper, olive oil, and white wine vinegar finish this ball salad perfectly.





Packin it up to go to the beach.



Welcome back to secret beach.



The salads on ice.





Time to get some pasta salad!







Top the ball salad with some prosciutto to finish it off.



These were the best. Seriously. Perfect finish to pasta salad week. I recommend them to anyone!


Sesame Pasta Salad
2 nights before:
Cut carrots, peppers, and cabbage into noodle shapes. Place in a bowl and fill half way with vinegar. Add a few tablespoons of salt and one of pepper. If you have them, feel free to toss in some diced onion and jalapeno and a little dried oregano. Fill to the top with water and seal. Shake this around occasionally but don't stir too much to avoid breaking the noodles.
1 night before:
Take out your pickleing veggies and strain. Taste one. Is it too salty and vinegary? Put some water in with them and shake it around a bit, then strain them again. How is it now? Put in some noodle sliced zucchini and scallions. Add a few splashes of sesame oil, and a bunch of rice wine vinegar. Throw in some more diced jalapenos. Stir to coat and throw it back into the fridge.
Day of:
Take out your veggies. Bring some water to a boil and add a few tablespoons of salt. Break your fettuccini in half. Cook. Place the noodles directly from the boiling water into the bowl with the veggies and stir. Meanwhile grate a few cloves of garlic and a few inches of ginger. Mix them up with a bunch of sesame oil and some rice wine vinegar. Add sugar, salt and soy sauce. Mix it all around and taste it. Add this dressing to the pasta mixture to your likening. Toast up some sesame seeds and pour over pasta. Stir around and allow to cool. Serve it nice and cold.

 

Ball Salad
Cooked Israeli cous cous
Mellonballed watermelon, cantelope, and cucumber
Small balls of mozzarella
Basil
White Wine Vinegar
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Top with Prosciutto


7 Comments

That veggie salad looks great - I love the idea of cutting them to match the shape of the pasta. And the melon/mozz/cous cous salad is a really interesting combo.

oooh, both salads look so yummy! I was eager to get to the ball salad part as I really had no idea what ball salad could be. hehe. Israeli cous cous is wonderful! My mom used to get 10 lb. bags from Newport Specialty Foods in RI and if I remember correctly it wasn't that much. by the by, we should take a road trip when you come home, that place is awesome.

oooh. maybe do another of the best beach days ever? newport style?

Hoss, thread jumping a bit here to let you know I'm sharing the bloggy love about you and your site and foods in this thread just posted today:

http://www.relaxedpolitics.com/?p=10689

If there's anything I need to edit, delete or provide MORE attribution for PLEASE let me know! Love your site, love your foods, love the pasta thread you got going!

Again, sorry to thread jump, and I hope I've done right by your efforts in my efforts.

Mangiamo, dia bono! *G*

This one just looks too good! I have never thought of these combinations before. I know im gonna get cravings to try this during the week.

I made your noodle pasta for a 4th of July party and it was a hit! Thanks for the great recipe!

Both salads look good and I think I would try to make em both. Where do you guys come up with these ideas! I love that you added prosciutto to the melon salad - perfect!

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