Serious Eats: Recipes

Serious Heat: Dressing Up Pasta Salad

[Flickr: KayVee.INC]

Pasta salad is my absolute favorite summer picnic indulgence. But I wanted a twist to make it a memorable side dish, especially for a picnic potluck. Last year, I found an old Bon App├ętit recipe that used an Asian-inspired base for the dressing: a mixture of sesame oil, honey, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and a kick of cayenne powder. I added a little mayonnaise into the sauce as a personal preference (what's a pasta salad without a hit of mayo?), and additional vegetables on hand.

The Asian-style dressing delivers a unique touch to the pasta, along with the slight fire from the cayenne. The crunch of the honey-roasted peanuts adds texture and sweetness, making the total combination my go-to recipe for pasta salads.

What's your twist on pasta salad?

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