Toss & serve pasta salads
BBC Easy Cook|Summer 2020
Toss & serve pasta salads
Delicious warm or cold, these speedy salads make great summer suppers or take-to-work lunches

CHOOSING YOUR PASTA

There are around 350 different shapes of pasta in Italy and, while you won’t find quite so many in UK supermarkets, there's still plenty of choice.

1 GLUTEN-FREE PASTAS

There are now plenty of gluten-free pasta to choose from. Look for buckwheat, corn, and rice pasta, available in the special diet sections of all supermarkets. Make sure you follow the cooking instructions carefully as they often require less cooking time.

2 WHOLEMEAL PASTA

with wholemeal bread, wholemeal pasta is made with unrefined flour, giving a higher fibre content and nuttier taste. You'll need to cook it a little longer than white.

3 FILLED PASTA

Fresh and frozen filled pasta make an interesting change, and are also extremely quick to cook — ideal for weeknight suppers. Most are fairly delicate, so don't be tempted to overcook or boil them too hard, or they will split open.

4 DRIED PASTA

Most Italians favour dried pasta to fresh for all the same reasons as us Brits: it’s easy to store, economical and simple to cook. Most of the dried pasta we buy in the UK is durum wheat pasta, made with white durum wheat flour and water.

PERFECT PASTA

All pasta needs plenty of space to move around the pan, and should be generously covered with water. Do not cover the pan.

To cook pasta, add it to boiling water, return to the boil, then stir briefly to break up any clumps. Leave to cook undisturbed.

Like most salads, pasta salads will taste and look better if you dress them as close to the time of eating as possible. Cooked pasta acts a bit like a sponge, soaking up dressings fairly fast. Stirring a little olive oil into your cooked and cooled pasta will help to prevent it absorbing dressings — but only do this if you're not counting calories.

Seasoning the water will give a better flavour to the end result, but isn't essential if you're watching your salt intake.

Honey-mustard chicken pasta

There’s a chance you’ll already have most of the ingredients for this salad in your store cupboard and fridge.

Serves 4

Prep 10 mins

Cook 10 mins

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Summer 2020