A great pasta salad should ideally feed a crowd and, even more ideally, use up leftover meat and vegetables from the fridge.
Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis has the tips and tricks you need to whip up a delicious, irresistible pasta salad that’s a hit every time.
Chef’s advice for a good pasta salad
In her cookbook Everyday pasta, the chef explained that making pasta for a salad isn’t exactly the same as making pasta for a hot meal. She also shared some tips for enjoying an amazing pasta salad every time.
“Cooking pasta for a pasta salad differs in several important ways from cooking pasta intended to be served hot,” she wrote, sharing her time-tested practices to keep in mind the next time you make a pasta salad.
- Perfume this water. “Be sure to salt the water you cook the pasta in especially generously to really flavor the pasta,” the chef said of the step so many home cooks overlook.
- Cook pasta well, added De Laurentiis: “This is the only time you can cook pasta a little al dente; pasta should be cooked through and soft (but not mushy!), as any uncooked core will be hard and taste starchy. »
- The Simply Giada star says to run water over pasta after cooking, a rule that only applies to cold pasta salad. “Briefly rinse the pasta after draining it to remove excess starch,” explains the chef. Skipping this step can “make your salad sticky”.
- Finally, she notes that timing is everything when it comes to tossing your salad with its dressing: “Do not dress the salad just before serving, especially if the dressing contains an acid such as vinegar or lemon juice. citrus, as it will begin to break. down the pasta and make it doughy.
Orzo salad from De Laurentiis
On Giadzythe culinary personality shared that her “bright and zesty orzo salad is the perfect addition to any barbecue or beach picnic.”
Orzo, she said, is a great main ingredient in pasta salad because “orzo pasta holds up better to dressings without getting soggy like other forms can, so feel free to make it to advance”.
Orzo pasta is cooked in chicken broth in this dish, until the pasta is “tender, but still firm to the bite”. It is strained and then blended to allow it to cool completely before combining it with the other ingredients.
Once cooled, the orzo is tossed with beans, halved tomatoes, chopped onion, and torn basil and mint leaves.
With a zesty red wine vinaigrette made with vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper, this pasta salad is simple and satisfying.
Get the full recipe and reviews on the Food Network website.
Critics agree De Laurentiis Orzo Salad may be the perfect pasta salad
With over 400 five-star reviews, the Chef’s Orzo Salad is a hit on the Food Network site, thanks to its flavorful dressing and ingredients.
“I’ve made this salad for my husband, parties, bar-b-ques, etc. It always gets rave reviews. We love the pasta salad and the dressing is amazing! Thank you Giada!” exclaimed a home cook.
And another person summed it up, writing, “This recipe is the bomb. That’s all you need to know. Do it! Oh, and spring for the best EVOO.
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