Monday, August 18, 2008

Tricolor Pasta Salad with Cheese Dressing

You can make this easy and healthy salad a day ahead and refrigerate it to keep it cold. If the pasta absorbs too much of the dressing, stir in 1 or 2 tablespoons of water just before serving to restore the creamy texture. Recipe serves 4.


8 ounces (250 g) medium-sized tricolor pasta shells, or elbow macaroni
4 cups cauliflower florets
3 medium-sized carrots peeled and thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 medium-sized stalks celery, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 small yellow zucchini, halved and thinly sliced on the diagonal
For the Dressing:
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons apple juice
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 1/4 teaspoons dried basil, chopped
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
2 spring onions, including tops, sliced (optional garnish)


1. Bring a stock pot of water to the boil; add the pasta. When the water returns to the boil, add the cauliflower and carrots and cook for 4 minutes. Add the celery and cook for a further 3 minutes or until the pasta is firm-tender. Add the zucchini, remove from the heat and drain in a colander. Rinse thoroughly under cold water and transfer to a large bowl.
2. To make the dressing, blend the cottage cheese, Parmesan, apple juice, vinegar, mustard, garlic, basil and pepper in a food processor or blender until smooth. Pour the dressing over the pasta-vegetable mixture and toss to coat. Cover with plastic food wrap and chill for 4 hours. Garnish with spring onions if desired.

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