Tale of Two Pepes

I like salads, not the lettuce type, but pasta, potato or fruit. You know the kind you find at potlucks with lots of mayonnaise or whipped cream. The richer they are the more I love them, and any sweet salad needs to have nuts in them.

My family will eat pasta salad with the tri-colored rotini, some onion, peppers, tomatoes, and black olives swimming in Italian dressing. I could get a little more creative with some hard mozzarella and pepperoni, but I usually keep it more simple for my family.

Today I wanted to make two different salads with the same pasta, one my family will eat, (antipasta-pasta) the other (frog eye salad) not a chance. The pasta of choice is anicini de pepe, little round pasta like couscous, so if you can’t find the pepe, then use couscous, follow the directions for cooking whichever one you choose.

Antipasta-pasta Ingredients

1/2 box anicini de pepe pasta
1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette (red wine vinaigrette or Italian dressing will work also)
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
1/4 cup cucumber, finely diced
1/4 cup green, red, yellow pepper of choice, finely diced
1/4 cup celery, finely diced
6 stalks of blanched asparagus, 1/8 inch thick rounds, just cut as close to the other cuts as possible without obsessing over it.
If you would like to add other veggies, feel free just cut into similar size pieces, and you may have to adjust the vinaigrette and other seasonings.
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 T fresh basil, mint, chiffonade-very thin strings see picture below
1 T fresh oregano, parsley, finely minced

Method

  1. Prepare pasta as directed on the box, and let cool.  This step can be done ahead and refrigerated before assembling.
  2. Mix the pre-cut veggies and herb with the vinegrette and seasonings, then mix into the pasta. This seems to help with a quicker, better mix.
  3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or more before serving.

Frog-eye Salad Ingredients

1/2 box anicini de pepe pasta
2 boxes instant pistachio pudding mix
1 can crushed pineapple
Ok the normal salad calls for 1 container of cool whip, but I had no form of whipped cream so I substituted 1 cup of yogurt for this. I liked the extra tang it gave the salad and I’m sure it helped in the calorie category as well.

Method

  1. Prepare pasta as directed on the package. Cool and refrigerate about 30 minutes. This step can be done ahead and then mixed when ready.
  2. Mix the pudding mixes in first and then add the pineapple.
  3. Once that is mixed in well then add the cool whip or the yogurt and refrigerate 30 minutes or more before serving.
This is the chiffonade.

salads Vegetarian

stephslyter View All →

I’m a wife, mother, pastry chef and amatuer gardner. I travel as much as possible, can what I grow, and taste as many new things as possible.

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