Tag Archives: pasta salad

Caprese Pasta

I eat Caprese salads pretty regularly in the summer – probably about once per week, especially when we are getting tons of tomatoes from our garden.  We had all the fixings for it the other day, but I was craving pasta (I seriously  think I may have a pasta addiction), so I decided to combine the two, and it it worked out great!

Caprese salad plus pasta? Genius!

Caprese Pasta

  • 1 pound pasta (I used orecchiette)
  • about 3 cups chopped tomatoes (I used a mix of different types and sizes – big tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, yellow tomatoes, whatever we had)
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup good quality olive oil
  • several splashes balsamic vinegar
  • several big pinches salt and freshly cracked pepper

Cook pasta in salted boiling water until al dente.  In meantime, combine tomatoes, mozzarella, olive oil, and some of the salt and pepper.  Once pasta is cooked, drain and let sit for just a few minutes so not quite so hot.  After its cooled just a bit, add pasta to bowl with tomatoes.  Add in the balsamic vinegar, basil, and any more salt or pepper needed for seasoning.  Give it all a big stir and serve.


One of a Million Tasty Ways to Marinate and Grill Chicken

So, it’s grilling season (finally), and what is about the easiest thing to do on the grill? Aside from slapping some hotdogs on it?  Grilled chicken!  However, if you are not careful, grilled chicken can be one of the easiest things to really mess up, especially white meat.  I suppose I should mention that I very much prefer dark meat over white meat.  So much juicier, tender, and flavorful.  But, once in a while we will do a whole chicken on the grill (back bone cut out and butterflied open into two halves) and if you master the grill right, even the white meat turns out well.

And what is the key to doing this? Indirect heat!  Yes, say it with me now, “Indirect heat!”  Meaning, once your coals are hot either shove them all to one side and then cook on the other side of the grill;  or, shove half the coals to the far left side and the other half of the coals to the far right and grill your food right in the center.  I think the choice comes down to how much food you have or how big your cuts of meat are.  Cooking with indirect heat will stop the problem of the outer part of your meat being dry and charred, while the inside is not cooked through yet.  In addition, it is important to keep your lid down most of the time because this helps to keep the inside temp of your grill nice and roasty and this helps to more evenly cook your meat.

Asian BBQ Chicken with Peanut Sauce Pasta Salad

Asian BBQ Chicken with Peanut Sauce Pasta Salad

  • 4 chicken quarters (we used thigh and leg quarters)
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup sweet mirin
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Peanut Sauce Pasta Salad (recipe below)

Whisk all ingredients except chicken in bowl.  Pour marinade over chicken, either in a freezer bag on in a large, shallow baking dish.  Let marinate about 3-6 hours, but up to 12 if preferred.  Remove from marinade and scrape off excess liquid.  Season with salt and pepper.

Grill over indirect heat.  Place skin side down and let grill about 20 minutes.  Flip and let grill another 15 – 20 minutes depending on the size of your chicken.  Remove from gill and let rest at least 5 minutes.

Peanut Sauce Pasta Salad

  • Handful of spaghetti (just eye it) – feel free to use Soba noodles if you have some on hand!
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/3 red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 bunch green onions, sliced thin
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup peanut sauce (my recipe from previous post)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon  plus 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil, divided

Cook pasta accordingly and drain thoroughly.  Toss with 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil.  When pasta has cooled slightly (still about room temp), toss with both bell peppers, red and green onion.

Chicken with a glass of the Hubs home-brewed IPA

To make sauce, mix peanut sauce, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil.  Toss into pasta salad until nicely coated.  Don’t use all of sauce if not necessary.  Toss salad with peanuts and cilantro.  Serve around room temperature.