Saturday, February 15, 2014

Italian noodle salad

My favourite (and only) noodle salad

It's been wayyy too long since I last blogged about a new recipe.

I do still read up on new recipes and print them out in the hope of trying them. However, when it comes to crunch time, I'm always dishing out tried-and-tested recipes that I can recall without having to refer to my recipes.

Being a Mom of two, my cooking time is very (ie.extremely) limited so I'm never adventurous enough to try out anything that takes me longer than 30 minutes in the kitchen.

I've been wanting to blog about this new recipe for the longest time, but have never been able to snap a photo of it before it was gone - that's how good it is!

Noodle salad is a staple in the German household. It makes it appearance at almost every party that I've been to but I have always given it a miss simply because I don't like the distinctive taste of pickles in it. Oh and have I mentioned that the first time I tried noodle salad, I was appalled that the pasta wasn't warm! I mean, who in the right mind eats cold pasta? It's like eating cold rice! Ok, the Japanese eat cold rice with sushi but regular Chinese meals with cold rice??? Bleah!

I first tried this Italian noodle salad at a friend's birthday party and instantly fell in love with it. It has everything I love about Italian food - rocket (rucola), cherry tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and garlic. What's there not to like? Oh and no pickles!

This Italian noodle recipe has singlehandedly made me into a noodle salad convert! It has been tried in our household three times and has always been a hit with guests. It was originally from this popular German website, but I have modified it to suit my taste and most importantly, translated it to English of course!

Also, because its pretty much a cold dish, you can prepare it in advance and eat it later at your convenience. I personally eat it immediately after I prepare it, so it tastes fresh even if the pasta is cold. When I eat it one day later, I like to scoop out a portion of the salad, heat it up in the microwave and allow the mozarella to melt over the pasta. That way it tastes great on the second day too.

It makes great party food too. Be wary though. Once you make it, you can be sure that your friends are going to ask you to bring it again for the next party.

Unfortunately, this salad might not be suitable for young kids since it uses raw garlic. I'm speaking from experience because try as I might, Sammy refuses to eat a bite of it despite our attempts to feed him. I think he finds the balsamic vinegar too sour for his taste buds? 


- 300 gram Pasta (eg. fusilli) 
- 250 gram Cherry Tomatoes (quartered)
- 250 gram Bacon bits (Katenschinken)
- 100 gram Pine nuts
- 300 gram Mozarella balls
- 100 gram Rocket (rucola)
- Parmesan cheese  (in a block)

 For the salad sauce:-

- 70 ml Olive oil
- 3 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp Pesto (I used balsamic pesto)
- 1 tsp Mustard
- 1 tsp Honey 
- 1 clove Garlic (chopped)

1.  Cook the pasta al-dente according to the packet instructions. Drain and set aside.

2. While the pasta is cooking, dry roast the pine nuts over medium heat paying attention that it does not burn. Set aside.

3. Fry the bacon bits without oil. It will fry in its own fat. Set aside.

4. Place the pasta, pine nuts, bacon bits, mozarella balls, cherry tomatoes and rocket in a big salad bowl.

5. Prepare the salad sauce and pour it over the rest of the ingredients.

6. Mix well and season with salt and pepper. I omit the salt usually because bacon is salty enough.

7. Before serving, shred some parmesan cheese over the salad. Enjoy!

Before mixing

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