Food

The easiest pantry-friendly weeknight pasta salad

Canadian Living
Food

The easiest pantry-friendly weeknight pasta salad

Last week, I asked our Canadian Living staffers what they do when they have limited a) time, b) ingredients and 3) motivation to cook. Well, last night, it was yours truly who was in that very situation! I was starving and knew I only had about T-minus 15 minutes before I started getting, as a friend of mine calls it, hangry.* Here's what I whipped together in under 15 minutes (and no one got hurt!): Whole Wheat Pasta Salad With Salmon 1. Cook 1 pkg (375 g) whole wheat penne according to package directions; drain and rinse under cold water until completely cooled. 2. Meanwhile, open and drain 2 cans (170 g each) salmon. 3. Flake salmon and mix with:
  • about 1/2 cup of light mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup each finely chopped green onions and celery
  • a finely chopped baby dill pickle
  • the juice of a small-ish lemon
  • a hefty sprinkling each of paprika (sweet, hot or smoked), dried dillweed (fresh dill is even better) and freshly ground pepper
  • a pinch of salt
4. Mix the salmon mixture with the pasta and serve with a little something green on top, if you have it. I nearly always have some sort of fresh herb on hand, even if it's just parsley or a little bit of extra green onion. [caption id="attachment_3350" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Easy pasta and salmon salad, straight from the pantry"] Easy pasta and salmon salad straight from the pantry[/caption] I've always adored tuna or salmon pasta salads. My Mum and I would go to the local sandwich shop all the time when I was little and they always had one just like this on the menu. Variations and tips:
  • Instead of dill and chopped pickles, you could add a spoonful of pesto and a few sliced olives, capers or chopped roasted red peppers.
  • Use whatever short chubby pasta shape you have on hand. Whole wheat, spelt, kamut, or even white pasta are all ideal candidates.
  • Don't have salmon? Use tuna or 2/3 cup of shredded cooked chicken. Even little salad shrimp will work.
  • Want to add in some leftover vegetables? Try grated carrot, finely chopped cucumber or diced red pepper.
  • Taking it for lunch the next day? You may want to make a little extra dressing. The pasta absorbs the dressing and the flavours can become a bit dilute after sitting in the fridge.
Do you get hangry, too, or is it just me? *Hangry: (adjective) A portmanteau mixing the words "hungry" and "angry". Example: "I was so hangry by the time Larry got home, I ended up making him eat dinner in the garage."
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The easiest pantry-friendly weeknight pasta salad

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