I don’t recall ever having made a traditional pasta salad before. Of course, I have had pasta salad, and have even posted recipes (see my Lightened-Up Italian Pasta Salad or Greek Noodle Salad Bowl), but those were always a little spur-of-the-moment-left-over-ingredients-combined-awesomly. I am not saying these two examples of pasta salad are any less than tastily genius, but they are definitely not what I consider “traditional”. In my mind, a traditional pasta salad is, most importantly, tossed in a creamy, thick, insanely decadent salad dressing, and contains no leafy greens.
So, as I said, I don’t think I have ever made one of those…but, there’s a first time for everything. And, to be honest, I don’t think there is any need for me perfecting my pasta-salad-making skills! I did great, in my opinion. Oh, and did I mention I managed to make this baby vegan, and its dressing is still insanely decadent and creamy? Yes, I am officially the pasta-salad-goddess. 🙂
I made up a wonderfully creamy tahini-lemon dressing that would work well on any vegan ceasar-salad-attempt as well! I adapted the recipe from the detoxinista recipe for a creamy tahini dressing, but adapted a few things.
This salad was a treat for my sister, who has been craving pasta salad in this heat (summer has hit Germany hard these past days), and I thought I’d up my salad game by finally making a “traditional” pasta salad. If you are not concerned about it being vegan, feel free to add some hard-boiled eggs and some sausage to the mix.
Traditional, Creamily Dressed, Vegan Pasta Salad
for the creamy dressing:
- 1/4 cup white tahini
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
- 1/2 garlic clove (or small garlic clove)
- a drizzle onion powder (1/8 tsp.)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbs. water
- 2 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp. agave nectar
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
for the pasta salad:
- 250g uncooked spelt spirelli
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 small pepper
- 1 green onion
- a piece of cucumber (3 inches)
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1 avocado
1. Bring water to a boil, and cook the spelt spirelli and peas for 6 minutes. Take out of the water, place in a bowl, and allow to cool (I placed mine in the fridge).
2. Put all ingredients for the creamy dressing in a food processor or blender, and blend until creamy. If it is to thick for your liking, add more water!
3. Chop up all your veggies into roughly same-sized cubes, excepting the avocado. Finely chop the parsley and green onion. Add all these to the bowl with the spelt spirelli and peas.
4. Add the creamy dressing, and mix thoroughly. Add the paprika, and mix again.
5. Place back in fridge for at least 15 minutes, to allow the flavors to infuse through the salad. Before serving, add the avocado, cut into cubes.
Note: Of course, you could use any type of pasta (excepting spaghetti, perhaps).
I have, as always, made a step-by-step gallery for those of you who are visual learners (myself included!):
Which types of veggies you add is completely up to you – if you want to add carrots, however, I suggest cooking them a little beforehand, otherwise there’ll be quite the unexpected crunch in your salad.
Doesn’t that make you excited? I was so happy with how this turned out, and my sister and I both downed two bowls without taking a break. It’s THAT good, and, trust me, you won’t notice that no mayonnaise or dairy was used for making this wonderful salad!
I enjoyed mine with some homemade unsweetened icetea – which is basically just cooled tea from the night before. I love preparing it and placing it in the fridge over night, it’s the best thirst-quencher in this heat!
After lunch, my sister begged me to bake her some of the black bean brownies I recently made using the Minimalist Baker’s Recipe, and I gladly obliged. I had to make myself some other muffins though, as I had black bean brownies all week, so I used half a batch of my banana coconut bread recipe to make some banana bread muffins:
Delicious, I tell you! If you bake half a batch of the linked recipe as muffins, the baking time is cut in half!