All those years ago, my idea of eating out was a meal of North Indian or Chinese or Andhra food. I was not much of an experimental cook. My cooking was limited to regular sambar, rasam, idli, dosa, chapati, dal and the occasional sweets. And then suddenly we saw something called as a Salad Bar. A salad bar?? Visions of tomato, cucumber, lettuce, salt and pepper floated into my mind. I had almost instantly dismissed it as something very boring meant only for the very boring and health-conscious fitness freaks. Why on earth would someone want to pay and eat salads of all things??
Hubby being the more adventurous eater of us, insisted that we try out something at Namdhari's Salad Bar. One of my earliest memories of my visit to this place is eating this absolutely delicious Penne Pasta Salad. Creamy, chilled and yummy. I started to see the Salad Bar with more respect. During our later visits, we found that the place also serves some great sandwiches as well. The pasta salad went on my favorites list. Later on, I tried preparing a similar version and came out with this version.
This very easy- to- put- together-salad when served with Garlic Bread makes a perfect lunch on a hot summer afternoon.
This recipe is also my entry to Jyothi's 'Pasta Party".
Penne Pasta - 1 1/2 cups. I have used Sunfeast BenneVita
Frozen sweet corn -3/4 cup
Oil - 1 teaspoon
Plain Mayonnaise -1 cup
Fresh Hung Curd - 1/2 cup
Powdered Sugar - 1 pinch
Salt to taste
Bring plenty of water to a boil in a wide large pot. Add 1 teaspoon salt and the pasta. Stir occasionally but gently. Boil till pasta is al dente(to the tooth). It should be tender but still firm to the bite. Remove the pot from fire immediately and pour the pasta into a colander, draining all the water. Add a teaspoon of oil to prevent the pasta from sticking. Toss gently Allow to cool. Store in the fridge in a covered container till serving time.
Boil some water and add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the frozen sweet corn and blanch for about 3-4 minutes or until tender. Drain and refrigerate.
Put the fresh hung curd in a wide shallow bowl (big enough to comfortably toss the pasta in) Add the mayonnaise and sugar. Add salt to taste.( Bear in mind that the mayonnaise already contains salt). Mix well with a wire whisk till smooth and creamy. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.
Just before serving, add the pasta and the boiled corn to the mayonnaise mixture. Mix gently till mayonnaise coats the pasta well taking care not to break the pasta. If the salad feels dry, add one or two teaspoons cold milk as needed. Serve the chilled pasta salad immediately with warm Garlic Bread.
Garlic Bread: Crush a few cloves of garlic. Slice dinner rolls into two horizontally. Heat a tawa and grease with oil or butter. On low heat, put a few cloves of garlic on the tawa. Place the dinner rolls on the garlic. Toast till crisp and golden. Brush with butter.
Please Note: Do not pre-mix the pasta and the mayonnaise as the salad will become dry. Mix just before serving.
Add chopped yellow and red capsicum or boiled and cubed egg whites to the salad if desired.
Vary the proportion of hung curd and mayonnaise to suit individual taste.
Me Some Salads Event