Cooking With A Broken Limb (Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad)
My nerves were getting the best of me as I attempted to crack a safe on an eerily quiet, dark evening. The only sounds I heard were the quiet splat of raindrops on a window and the sound of my heart rapidly beating. I was in the house of a wealthy recluse who was known for hoarding money, jewels, saffron, truffles, and caviar. My credit card bill was due and I had been coveting the Audi R8 and I knew I the only way I could pay for either was to rob a bank or someone rich. There was just one thing in between me and the sexiest car in the world, an abundance of the most expensive spice, and enough cash to last me a lifetime: this stupid safe. I knew I shouldn’t have trusted Safe Cracking for Dummies, it wasn’t any help at all and I had no idea how I was going to crack a supposedly uncrackable safe.
I was contemplating my next move when I heard footsteps. I tried not to hyperventilate; concerned any sounds I made might make my presence known. I could have spent a few more minutes trying to open that damn safe, but I decided to make a run for it, sprinted towards the nearest window, and jumped out. Thankfully the sidewalk broke my fall and prevented me from serious injury. I was thankful to only have broken my ankle.
Okay, so maybe I broke my ankle when I fell down while walking. I was on my way to meet up with some friends.
Hobbling around on crutches tends to lead people to ask me what happened to my very broken ankle. I’ve heard such cool stories involving snowboarding, sports, parachute accidents…. It’s just kind of sad that that the sidewalk was wet, I slipped, and I managed to break my ankle. I’m totally open to any stories I can tell people since I’m sick of telling the same boring account of how I sustained my injury.
Being on crutches has made cooking a bit of a problem. I’m very reliant on the amazing people in my life to feed me and chauffeur me about. Most endeavors in the kitchen have turned out with subpar results. I haven’t had much creativity and even when I have hobbled into the kitchen with my crutches nothing has turned out very well. It’s been discouraging to have less than stellar results and there’s only one thing that stands out as a success: Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad.
I stumbled across a recipe for an intriguing pasta salad on The Amateur Gourmet a while back. I enjoy his blog and had success with the one other recipe of his I’ve made. What I liked about this recipe is that it isn’t so much a recipe, but a guideline in which you can switch out ingredients for others, basically use whatever is convenient.
My version follows the original pretty closely, but with a few alterations. If you make this, feel free to add whatever you have on hand!
Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad
Adapted from Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad
- 1 lb penne (the squiggly corkscrew ones or ziti would also be nice)
- ½ cup yogurt (Greek is best, but whatever is on hand will work, so long as it’s plain)
- Approximately ¼ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- Handful of chopped dill
- Handful of chopped cilantro
The following are the fruits, veggies, and cheese that I used:
- A few handfuls of diced smoked mozzarella
- 1 cucumber, seeded and diced
- 2 shallots, medium dice
- 1 plum, diced
- 1 nectarine, diced
- A few stems of celery, diced
- One tomato, diced (I recommend roasting your tomato first, which is what I did)
1. Cook pasta to al dente
2. While pasta is cooking, mix together yogurt, sour cream, olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. My dressing was super tangy, which I enjoyed. If you want it to have a bit less bite, feel free to add a pinch of sugar.
3. Once pasta is cooked, drain and let cool slightly.
4. While the pasta is warm, but not hot, stir in the yogurt dressing. You want the pasta to still be warm as it will “drink” up some of the dressing and make the pasta more flavorful. It may look like you have too much dressing, but keep in mind you’ll add your remaining ingredients later which also need to be coated in dressing.
5. Let cool a few minutes more before adding all remaining ingredients.
I started eating mine when it wasn’t entirely cooled (because I was hangry) and thought it was fine, but preferred it once it had been completely chilled. This pasta salad had so much going on as far as flavor and texture. Creamy, crunch, tangy, sweet. It was an explosion of deliciousness and I can see myself making variations of this forever.