Pesto Pasta Salad: And the Small Pot Challenge

One of my good friends was leaving for Japan last week, so two Saturdays ago, my friends and I decided to book an airbnb overnightand cook. On the menu: Slow Roast Beef (we bought from a specialty stall), truffle mashed potatoes, and pesto pasta salad.

I love a good salad, and while I usually like the salad with more greens that anything, there is this one dish that I like ordering in a restaurant called Juju eats that makes the mix of pasta and veggies so balanced, with different textures and flavor balancing each other for one good bite. It is actually quite simple but is a colorful dish that can please a crowd that appreciates some greens.

The airbnb unit’s counter space

One challenge that I faced was that the airbnb we stayed at didn’t have a regular sized pot! There was only but quite a small pot that could not fit two large potatoes in it. First challenge was to be abe to boil the pasta evenly in batches— all in all took three batches. So I spent my time prepping for the other ingredients and other dishes so as not to waste time.

Very small pots and containers!

Second challenge was how to mix all ingredients evenly! The place also didn’t have a bowl big enough to hold the pasta so we used four different bowls before we found a tray that we can use to mix everything in evenly.

Third challenge was that I forgot to bring salt! Luck was with us since the convenience store is just at our building and we were able to get free salt packets.

Lesson learned, when going on an airbnb staycation where you plan to cook together with friends—check with your host on the utensils available,and see if it is worth it, or if you should at least bring an extra pot, container or pan or so.

Pesto Pasta Salad

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time (real cooking time): 20 minutes

Serves 5-7

Ingredients:

• 500 grams fusilli

• 1 1/2 cups or about 250 grams of premade pesto (you can buy or make your own pesto)

• I cup cherry tomatoes, halved

• 2 cups of french beans, tips removed

• 1 cup of button mushrooms

• 1 cup of cooked corn kernels, removed from the cob

• 3 hard boiled eggs chopped roi%

• 1/2 cup basil leaves

• Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. In a pot of boiling water, cook the pasta til al dente. Drain and set aside.

2. Blanch the beans in boiling water for less than 2 minutes. Transfer the beans it in an ice bath for about a minute. Remove from ice bath and drain all excess liquid.

3. Cook the mushrooms in a small amount of olive oil with salt and pepper or pesto sauce until mushrooms are soft, brown and thoroughly cooked.

4. In a large pot or container mix the pasta, tomatoes, beans, basil leaves, mushrooms, corn and hard boiled eggs until distribution is equal.

5. Add the pesto and mix until everything is well coated. Season with salt and pepper. Serve on room temperature.

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