Need something that will not only fill you up quickly, but also load your body with vitamins and other nutrients? Need something that will add colors to your life also in dark and rainy days? I say that this rainbow pasta salad has all the features to put you back in the mood! Besides that it also fills your tummy with healthy stuff. So, sharpen your knife and let’s get to work!
Shortly about pasta
Since it’s rainbow pasta salad, we need to talk a bit about pasta first, right? Well, Italian cuisine is definitely not imaginable without pasta. There are so many different types of pasta! Fusilli, spaghetti, fettuccine, linguine, tagliatelle, pappardelle, farfalle, orecchiette, conchigliette etc. For me all these names (and there are many more) have always confused me! Why? Because in Latvia everything is much easier – for pasta we have only two names. One is “spaghetti”, which refers to… spaghetti! (Wow, this was a tough one!) And the other name is “macaroni”, which is used for every other type of pasta. So, you can imagine my confusion when I came across all these pasta names.
Al dente or not?
But wait, there’s more! There’s another thing that for Italians is very important and that has caused me some discussions with my partner. It’s the fact that pasta, according to Italians, must be cooked al dente! Do you think it’s the same in Latvia? Of course not! For sure there are Latvians who prefer pasta al dente. But I would say that the typical Latvian simply cooks the pasta until it’s soft. Anyway, in this recipe you can cook your pasta in the way how you prefer it.
Apart from pasta there are six other ingredients in this salad. Those are: green beans, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, black olives and Italian chicory (radicchio). Don’t worry if the last one you cannot find in your local supermarket since it’s not so popular outside Italy. You can substitute it with red cabbage. It will be crunchier than Italian chicory (radicchio), but it will still provide great taste and beautiful purple color.
Since every ingredient is unique in its own way, there’s no need to add spices, oil or salsas. The ingredients are full of flavor and have their own natural liquids that make the salad slightly juicy. Since most of the ingredients are used uncooked in this recipe, the salad is rich of vitamins and other nutrients.
Nutritional value of Rainbow pasta salad ingredients
Onions are a good source of potassium and vitamin C. Also bell peppers are rich in vitamin C and A. Tomatoes are a good source of vitamins A, C and K. Italian chicory (radicchio) contains magnesium, calcium, iron, copper and vitamins A, B, C, E and K. If instead of Italian chicory (radicchio) you use red cabbage, don’t think that it won’t benefit your health. Also red cabbage is full of good nutrients. Just like cooked green beans. They are a good source of vitamins A and C, and minerals calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium and iron. Black olives instead contain vitamin E, iron and copper. Pasta maybe is not on top of the list for its nutritional values. But it still can be a valid source of protein. To benefit your health even more, choose the whole-grain pasta instead of the regular one.
Specky, like a real Italian, loves the Italian chicory (radicchio). But its combination with all the other salad ingredients didn’t inspire him that much. I guess that’s why he decided to treat himself only with the decoration of my salad!
In any case with decoration or without this rainbow pasta salad is a pleasure for the eyes. The combination of all the colors simply screams that this meal is full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Besides this, I have another extra healthy salad recipe that you can try – Fresh and healthy farro salad. But for now get to work and create a rainbow in your plate by preparing this rainbow pasta salad that is:
full of vitamins
full of minerals
easy to make
and simply yummy!
Let me know, if you try this recipe! Leave a comment or even more – make Specky happy! Snap a picture of your masterpiece and post it on Instagram or Facebook by tagging @bunnymommycooks. And feel free to let your animal family members join in the picture!