Friday, July 3, 2009

Olive Oil Is for Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad with Olive Oil? You Betcha!

By Cal Orey

"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." --Federico Fellini

This week has been crazy, full of life's ups and downs for the world and moi... We lost Farrah to the big C and Michael to unknown health-related causes--for now. The stocks plummeted. More job losses. More healthcare premiums. More chaos. There was a 6.0 shaker in the Gulf of California. And Sarah Palin quit her day job. Did I leave anything out?

When I shut my eyes a mixed up cold salad appears. I guess a pasta salad, of sorts, is a metaphor for this mixed up world. And my life as a writer this week? On the upside: The chocolate book is now out of my hands and in production. Chocolate power.The downside: My laptop computer crisis is still unresolved. I think it's time to give my worries about the globe and own woes a vacation like in the film What About Bob. Enough is enough.

Back to olive oil...When I'm a guest on radio talk shows, sometimes (not always) some hosts note that vinegar and olive oil are only good for salad. Uh, yeah. But hold the phone. Nature's liquid gold is also oh-so golden for a host of health improvements, home cures, DIY beauty, house cleaning, cooking and baking. Go figure. (Everthing you want to know but were afraid to ask is in my books The Healing Powers of Vinegar and The Healing Powers of Olive Oil.)

So today, I thought of making a pasta salad for Fourth of July. It's easy. It's quick. It's healthy. And this recipe doesn't call for fish. (I'm on non-edible fish overload. BTW: Today, all of my real live fish are alive and happy. It's time to dish out names for my new fish friends. Plus, I got a good swim. The sun is shining. The pool? Not so warm. But it worked.)

Callie's World Upside Down Pasta Salad

8 ounces rotini, whole grain

1 cup chopped broccoli

1/2 cup red or green bell pepper strips

1/2 cup vegetables (your choice)

1/4 cup sliced black olives

1/4 cup chopped red onion

1/2 cup celery

3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup each cheese cubes (sharp cheddar cheese or Swiss, forget low-fat or generic kinds)

1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons your fave fresh herbs (basil, parsley, pepper)

Boil pasta (about 10 minutes), drain, rinse and put in bowl with olive oil. Mix veggies with garlic in another dish. Nuke for a few minutes but don't overcook. Toss with pasta. Put in fridge for about an hour. Toss in your cheeses. A dash of fresh ground pepper. Turn off the news. Bon Appetito!

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