Thursday, September 24, 2015

Cold Penne Pasta Salad

Looks like we're on a cold noodle salad roll over here. I really don't know why it didn't occur to me to make pasta salads ALL SUMMER long, but the idea is now in my head. This one doesn't have a sauce, but gets all its flavor from the diced garlicky chicken sausage, roasted red peppers, and pickled onions. I parboiled broccoli that I had chopped finely and tossed that in too, because you know me, I gotta have some green in there. I loosely used a Serious Eats recipe for Spanish Pasta Salad but adapted some ingredients because it was more convenient. It still tastes good!

Spanish Pasta Salad With Chorizo, Piquillo Peppers, and Pickled Onion

  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 pound small pasta, such as macaroni (I used penne because I like the color of this carrot version)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 6 ounces Spanish chorizo (about 2 sausages), diced (I used chicken garlic sausage)
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted or grilled piquillo peppers from 1 (12-ounce) brine- or oil-packed jar (I used roasted red peppers)
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley leaves and tender stems (about 1/2 bunch)
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons zest from 1 lemon
  • Freshly ground black pepper

    1. In a small mixing bowl, cover onion with sherry vinegar and let stand until lightly pickled, at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour.
    2. In a pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until very tender throughout, 2 to 3 minutes longer than al dente stage according to package. Drain in a colander, then chill under cold running water. Let drain well, then drizzle lightly with olive oil and toss to coat. Set aside.
    3. In a small skillet, cook chorizo over medium-high heat until fat has rendered and chorizo is crisp, about 8 minutes; during last 1 minute of cooking, stir in garlic.
    4. In a large serving bowl, toss pasta with chorizo, garlic, and its rendered fat, along with olive oil, piquillo peppers, parsley, scallions, and lemon zest. Drain onions and toss into salad. Season with salt and pepper. Serve right away at room temperature or make up to 1 day in advance, refrigerate, and return to room temperature before serving. 

    The rest of the bento contains sliced plums and white nectarines, as well as a grape tomato. I hope TinySprite enjoys her Paperchase lunch box bento!


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