Pasta salads are a great dish for potlucks, barbecues, picnics, outdoor parties and just about any summertime meal. Years ago, I used to love pasta salad, but once gluten became an issue and I had to substitute gluten-free pasta in my pasta salads I found myself sadly disappointed in the taste and texture of my once-loved salads.
Let’s face it, soft, mushy pasta just doesn’t work well in a cold pasta salad. So I found myself just avoiding pasta salads and focusing more on fresh green salads or other side dishes like potato salad. However, now things have changed. Our world of gluten-free foods is rapidly changing with the entrance of quality, authentic tasting foods and that includes pasta!
Years ago, I attended a conference in Chicago and heard about a little Italian restaurant, called Da Luciano, that served gluten-free pasta. My mother and I sought out the restaurant and found ourselves enjoying delicious pasta dishes that were amazingly authentic in taste. The pasta tasted like the real thing – we were shocked. We asked the woman who owned the restaurant which pasta they used and discovered, our now favorite, imported Italian gluten-free pasta – Le Veneziane made by Molino di Ferro. This corn based pasta holds up and cooks (as it should) to al dente and works perfectly for hot dishes and cold pasta dishes. The company produces a wide variety of pasta including shells, penne, fettucine, spaghetti, and more.
The great news is that this now has brought back pasta salads to our family. I encourage you to try this pasta (especially if you have found yourself discouraged with the pastas that are readily available in the markets). You can purchase Le Veneziane pasta on-line at www.quattrobimbi.com.
Now that you know the secret to great pasta salads – the pasta – you must try these delicious pasta salads:
- Chef Yvonne