March 24, 2015

Salami Pesto Pasta Salad

In order to take pictures of my food, I need a kitchen. Which
wasn't really an option this week.
This is one of those recipes that you can't help but be shocked you didn't think of when you first see it. Because it seems so OBVIOUS. Just put all of the awesome things in the world into one bowl and see what happens. But sadly, you didn't think of it first. Neither did I. I got the idea from somewhere, I'm sure. But over the years I've adapted and tweaked whatever fever dream gave me the glory in the first place, to the point where it's definitely probably mostly original. Ish.


1 lb Rotini (if you don't have rotini, you can substitute another pasta. Or, you can stop being lazy, and go buy some. At any grocery store ever. Even those weird privately owned ones with off brand pasta with names like "rosalita's best," or "bro-rilla")
1 lb hard dried salami, cut into large chunks
1/2 lb smoked turkey, cut into wee bitty strips
3 cups Broccoli Florets
2 Roasted Red Peppers, cut into chunks
4 cups Basil
1/2 cup Red Wine Vinegar
3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper

The first step is to make the dressing. Because it takes a while, and keeps easily in the fridge until everything else is done, and we can sometimes be efficient with our time, godsdammit. Now there are two ways to do this. The easy, wussy, food-processor way, or the needlessly painful, super masculine, mortar-and-pestle way. I usually go for the latter. Mostly because I'm a badass, and partially because I don't own a food processor. Whichever method you choose (You'll be judged. By The gods. Specifically the Greek gods. They seemed to care a ton about who was more masculine than who), you need to grind up your basil, pepper, vinegar, mustard, and half of your salt into a loose paste. Then, while stirring and praying to those super judgy Greek gods that you're not gonna stain your clothes, slowly drizzle in the oil. And voila! Basil based awesomeness at your disposal.

Next, take your broccoli, and cut the florets off of the stalks. Chop your stalks into bite-sized slices, and layer them over the bottom of a pan. Then just barely cover them with water, and layer the florets on top of that. Add in the rest of your Salt, and bring the water to a boil. Cover the pot, and turn the heat down to medium. You're essentially using the stalks as a base so you can steam the florets in peace. Your florets are fully cooked once they lose their self-preservation instincts, and no longer resist being stabbed with a fork. This usually takes about 8 minutes. Once they're done, set the florets aside, and figure out something to do with the stalks. You're not using them for this recipe, so you can just throw them out. If you're a wasteful jerk. Or you can eat them. The choice is yours. And possibly Zeus's.

If you look closely, you can make out the shadow of me,
gas mask on, cooking some awesome food. And meth.
The rest of this thing is pretty straightforward. You cook your pasta until it's al dente. Al dente is Italian for "to the tooth." It's a nonsensical phrase that's supposed to mean the pasta is cooked, but still firm and offering resistance when bitten. This is not implied by "to the tooth." It sounds like it should be a dumb thing that kids would say to each other in the early 90s. But for some reason it's an accepted culinary term, the knowledge of which will allow you to out-douche people at parties. You're welcome. Anyhow, once your pasta is sufficiently toothsome add in the meat and vegetables, and then cover it in the delicious delicious sauce. Stir it up, taste it, and then adjust the salt and pepper (if necessary) to your personal (wrong) preference. And enjoy!

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