Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pasta Salad for Charlie

This pasta salad is a favorite, but it resonates a bit more with my husband and I than with the kids. Except Evan, who isn't a kid anymore....

I've adapted it a bit from Claire's Corner Copia Cookbook, one of my all-time favorites. Charlie brought it back to me when he returned from a military trip to Germany. A bit before his return, he called me:

"Hey! How was your day?"

"Well, I was fixing the dryer, when I heard a scream, and ran upstairs to find Ken with blood pouring out of his mouth. He'd tripped, and so we went to the ER. Hwe had to have a stitch in his tongue - without anesthetic! What five-year-old will sit for that? Ken, of course! I explained it, and he stuck out his tongue and let the doctor 'needle him', without even crying! The doctor gave him every coloring book and sticker he could find, and the nurse gave him a dollar! Medical people came from all over the ER to see the miracle child! Ken was very amused...

We got his antibiotics and headed home , where I finished the dryer and cleaned up Neal, who threw up. Minor stomach flu. Yay.

And how was your day?"

(In a very small voice) "I went to Paris."

At least he brought me home what is now one of my favorite cookbooks.

Pasta Cohen, adapted

1 pound penne, bow ties, or other pasta
1 cup of frozen peas
2 teaspoons oil, preferably olive oil
1 small onion, sliced or diced, as you wish
1/4 cup sliced black olives
8 ounces smoked mozzarella, chopped


1 cup milk
2 teaspoons grated onion or chopped scallions or chives
A handful of  chopped parsley
1 cup low-fat mayo or salad dressing (aka Miracle Whip)
1 tablespoon dried dillweed
A bit of salt, to taste
Several shakes of pepper

1 ) Cook pasta as directed, or pull out that boy of leftover noodles from the back of the fridge. Drain well.

2 ) Toss with oil, then add peas. They'll thaw soon enough! Add the onion, olives, and cheese.

3 ) Dump the dressing ingredients into a blender, food processor, chopper, or jar-with-a-lid. Buzz or shake until mixed well. Taste a bit, then add more of whatever if you like. Pour onto the pasta and mix gently but firmly. Let it rest a few minutes, then taste again. Serve happily.