Excellent Vegetarian Pasta Salad

by Heart of Saffron
easy pasta salad recipe

Excellent? Well, I could also call it brilliant vegetarian pasta salad. It is really that good! Or amazing pasta salad! The soft pasta mixed together with juicy cherry tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, fried paneer, wonderful Italian spices and lime juice is just perfect! Not only is the taste amazing it is also really easy to make. This easy pasta salad recipe has some few secrets to it. Wanna know them? Continue reading.

Secrets to making excellent vegetarian pasta salad

Ok, are you ready? Well, some of the secret things of this easy pasta salad recipe are obvious. Like:

  • Choosing good quality of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Pick excellent quality of cherry tomatoes, with a sweet and juicy flavor.
  • Adding fried paneer.
  • Spicing it up with fried green chili.

But one addition to this easy pasta salad recipe is slightly different from normal pasta salad. The secret to this vegetarian pasta salad recipe is adding fried asafetida (also known as hing). Asafetida is an Indian spice, a gum from the variety of giant fennel which gives the dish an umami-like flavor. It is the secret spice that takes pasta salads to a whole new level! Vegetarian pasta salad has never been better! Serve this to any of your carnivore friends and they will be amazed by this super easy pasta salad.

How to use the secret ingredient for this easy pasta salad recipe?

There’s a certain way how to use asafetida. Asafetida comes in two different forms. One is asafetida in brown powder form, which is asafetida in it’s full-strength form (please use sparingly). The second type of asafetida is yellow and it has been diluted with flour, rice flour or turmeric. (I use the yellow one).

In its uncooked form it is rather unpleasant and too strong. It cannot be sprinkled over the dish just like that. But when it is cooked properly it gives an exceptional flavor to the dish and an amazing rich taste. The way to cook asafetida is to fry it a few seconds in oil until it is slightly browned. In my excellent vegetarian pasta salad recipe, it is fried in delicious olive oil together with green chili before it is added to the vegetarian pasta salad.

Fried paneer

Where to buy asafetida?

It can be bought online or found in Asian food stores or Indian food stores. It is normally not found it normal supermarkets. I like to use this one Laljee Godhoo Hing (Asafoetida).

Reasons for loving this vegetarian pasta salad recipe?

It is one of my favorite vegetarian pasta salad recipes. I do sometimes change the vegetables inside but I normally keep the spices the same. Here some few reasons for loving this beautiful vegetarian pasta salad:

  • It is extremely delicious.
  • It requires only a few ingredients.
  • It has an unique umami flavor to it.
  • It can be served as a meal in itself.
  • Very impressive to friends and family.

If you make this easy vegetarian pasta salad everyone will ask you how you made it. It is really that good and impressive. Ok lets see how to make this beautiful vegetarian pasta salad.

How to make excellent vegetarian pasta salad?

  1. Cook the pasta according to the instruction of the packet together with some olive oil. By cooking the pasta with some olive oil it will prevent the pasta from sticking to eachother. In this vegetarian pasta salad recipe I used farfalle. I like how they look, and my mom always used to cook them when we were kids. It’s a sentimental thing,  but you are free to use any type of pasta you like.
  2. While the pasta is boiling cube the paneer and fry it in olive oil until it is brown and crisp.
  3. Wash the cherry tomatoes and halve them.
  4. Mix the pasta, cherry tomatoes and fried paneer in a bowl.
  5. Heat up the olive oil in a small pan. Fry the green chilies for a few seconds, then add the asafetida and fry it until it is slightly browned (only a few seconds). Add the fried spices to the pasta salad mix.
  6. Add salt, pepper, oregano and lime juice to the vegetarian pasta salad and you are ready to serve.

How to serve vegetarian pasta salad?

Here’s a few ways how you can serve this excellent vegetarian pasta salad.

It can be served as a meal in itself (together with some bread etc)

It can be served as a side dish.

It can be packed for lunch.

It’s a wonderful edition for picnics.

vegetarian pasta salad

Is the easy pasta salad recipe versatile?

Oh yes! You can replace the paneer and cherries with other vegetables of your choice. I love this vegetarian pasta salad recipe as it is but you can easily replace the cherries with for example:

  • Stir-fried capsicum.
  • Or a mix of vegetables like fried squash and fried zucchini.
  • Half-half cherries and cucumber.

You can also add things like:

  • Olives
  • Fried and chopped nuts like cashew or almonds.
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds.

Or you can replace the paneer with fried tofu or fried soya to make the pasta salad vegan.

If you feel skeptical about using asafetida you can replace it by frying garlic in olive oil instead.

It is really a beautiful dish and I hope that you will also love it as much as I do. Please let me know how it went by leaving a comment below. I would love to hear your own edition of vegetarian pasta salad. If you like my Indian edition to the salad, then I can highly recommend my Fabulous Creamy Cauliflower Paneer Curry.

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Excellent Vegetarian Pasta Salad

easy pasta salad recipe

A beautiful umami-flavoured vegetarian pasta salad with fried paneer, cherry tomatoes, farfalle, chili, italian spices and the secret ingredient: asafetida. 

  • Author: Heart of Saffron
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 20
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: Italian
Scale

Ingredients

3 tbs olive oil

250 gram paneer

350 gram cherry tomatoes

2 1/2 cups farfalle pasta

1/2 tsp asafetida

2 1/2 tsp dry oregano

1/4 lime (juice from 1/4 lime)

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Boil the pasta according to the instrucions on the pasta package. Boil it with some salt and olive oil. The olive oil will prevent it from sticking to eachother after boiling. 
  2. While the pasta is boiling, prepare a pan for frying the cubed paneer. 
  3. Put the flame on medium heat, add 1 tbs of olive oil and fry the paneer until it is browned and crisp.
  4. Wash the cherry tomatoes and halve them.
  5. Mix the pasta, cherry tomatoes and fried paneer in a bowl.
  6. Finely chop the green chilli.
  7. Heat up 2 tbs olive oil in a small pan. Fry the green chilies for a few seconds until the green color is gone, then add the asafetida and fry it until it is slightly browned (only a few seconds). Add the fried spices to the pasta salad mix.
  8. Add salt, pepper, oregano and lime juice to the vegetarian pasta salad and you are ready to serve.

Notes

The pasta salad is slighlty warm when it is freshly made. If you would like it colder simply wait a 5 to 10 minutes until it has cooled down. 

Keywords: Vegetarian pasta salad

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