gluten free pasta salad

Posted on March 31, 2012

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We had a really warm week not that long ago – probably a sure sign of global warming, and if you’d just arrived this week, you’d think I was mad telling you it was just almost 80 degrees. One of these nights my friends invited me to have supper with them on their deck, some BBQ meats, and grilled veggies, and could I bring a carb?

Me? A carb? But of course, it’s like my specialty!

Oh, and one more thing – no wheat.

I was going to make potatoes, cause baked potatoes kind of go with grilling, but by the time I got home from work I was feeling like something warm, was really not what I wanted to eat. When the weather gets as warm as it was, I tend to feel as if I’ve eaten a cement block when I eat something dense, warm and slathered in dairy products. I decided to see if Stop & Shop carried any gluten free pasta so that we could have pasta salad instead.

THEY DO!

I grabbed this, two cucumbers, some olives, tomatoes, feta cheese and a thing of italian dressing (because I apparently can never remember if I’ve already bought some), this including specialty pasta (of which I got two bags/pounds) will run you like $25.00 at Stop & Shop.

While waiting for a pot of water (lightly salted) to boil, you can chop up all the vegetables.

1 large onion chopped up into about 1/4″ pieces (or if you don’t want to mess with onions, toss them in a little food processor and get them nice and small without crying…)

2 cucumbers chopped same size as onions

2 tomatoes chopped same size

1 can large/med/small black olives (pitted, obviously…) chopped into two or three slice, depending on what size you get.

COOK PASTA NOW!

apparently the difference is that non gluten pasta makes the water SUPER murky... this was about 7 minutes in...

I read, then re read the instructions on this gluten free stuff to make sure I cooked it properly. I had a LOT of misgivings about using it for pasta salad (obviously a COLD dish) because the packaging said “serve quickly with a warm pasta sauce, tastes just like wheat pasta” or something of that ilk…

I have never stirred pasta as much as I stirred it the other day. It said “constantly” on the package, and thats exactly what I did. Constant. To the point where it was irritating. I tested it a few times, so see if it was cooked. I hoped that you could tell it was al dente like regular pasta, especially since it’s made by friggin Italians, I mean, come on. I was still not sure it would work out alright but I cooked it til it seemed like it would work, drained it, rinsed with cold water (though the package told me I didn’t have to) and tossed it with a LOT of Italian Dressing.*

1 block of feta cheese (it was over 8oz, but not sure how much it was—- 12 oz?) crumbled up after the rest of the salad is tossed together

chop up olives like so

I happen to live with people who do not like black olives. I think there is something horribly wrong with them for not liking olives, cause I ADORE them, but since I’m a nice person and had not interrogated my friends about black olives I put them in a little pyrex dish on the side. Turns out all three of us ladies ate the black olives, but much like my better half, the man of the house doesn’t dig olives. Strange…

I was still worried it would taste like crap, or be an awful consistency, but didn’t have to do anything else. I grabbed all my stuff, and almost brought some potatoes as a back up (but I didn’t have enough hands to carry it all) in the end, everybody liked it a LOT. You couldn’t even really tell that it wasn’t regular pasta, and having a cool dish on such a warm evening was such a better idea – almost refreshing.

Refrigerate for as long as you can (sometimes 30 mins is enough- I’ve done up to a few hours) then refrigerate in an air tight container and eat for the next two days until gone.

*** Notes: Use dressing to taste, I usually just coat it and then serve it and leave the bottle out so that people can add more if they like.

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