California Spaghetti Salad is a delicious and refreshing pasta salad that incorporates various fresh vegetables and a tangy dressing. Here’s a basic recipe to get you started:
- 8 ounces (about 225g) spaghetti noodles
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup diced cucumber
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1/4 cup sliced black olives
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
For the Dressing:
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Cooked and diced chicken or shrimp for added protein
- Cook the Spaghetti:
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Add the spaghetti noodles and cook according to the package instructions until al dente.
- Drain and rinse the cooked noodles with cold water to stop the cooking process. This will also help prevent them from sticking together.
- Prepare the Dressing:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, dried oregano, dried basil, sugar, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Set the dressing aside.
- Combine Ingredients:
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked and cooled spaghetti noodles, cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber, diced red and green bell peppers, diced red onion, sliced black olives, and chopped parsley.
- Add Dressing:
- Pour the dressing over the pasta and vegetables. Toss everything together gently to ensure all the ingredients are coated with the dressing.
- Chill and Serve:
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate the California Spaghetti Salad for at least an hour before serving. This allows the flavors to meld and the salad to chill.
- Optional Garnishes:
- Before serving, you can sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese on top for added flavor.
- If you’re adding cooked chicken or shrimp, toss it in just before serving to keep it fresh and tender.
- Serve and Enjoy:
- Once the salad is properly chilled, give it a final toss to ensure the dressing is evenly distributed.
- Serve the California Spaghetti Salad as a refreshing side dish or a light main course.
Remember, this recipe is quite versatile, so feel free to adjust the ingredients and quantities based on your preferences. Enjoy your delicious California Spaghetti Salad!