Sicilian Pasta Salad
- 1 cup prepared mayonnaise
- 1 TBS fresh cilantro, chopped fine
- 4 large garlic cloves, pressed or chopped fine
- 1 tsp basil (fresh chopped or dried)
Mix above to make aioli dressing.
- 12 oz spiral pasta (3-color), cooked al dente & rinsed in cold water
- sliced olives (4½ oz can)
- ½ small red bell pepper, chopped into 1/8-inch pieces
- ½ medium carrot, shredded into 1-inch slivers
- ½ medium tomato, chopped into ¼-inch pieces
- Toss everything together.
- Serve on bed of shredded lettuce on each plate.
- Top with thin tomato slices, thin rings of red onion, additional carrot shreds, and freshly grated hard cheese (e.g., parmesan or romano).
This salad is substantial enough to serve as a main dish on hot summer days, and interesting enough to serve to company. If you really like garlic, use even more than the recipe calls for; it’s best when there’s so much garlic that it bites your tongue. This is my adaptation of a dish served at the Düsseldorf Café, on Divisadero Street in San Francisco, near Mt. Zion Hospital where my Psychobiography Working Group used to meet once a month. (We now meet most of the time in Berkeley, where there are plenty of other interesting restaurants and cafés.) I ate the Sicilian pasta salad several times before I finally asked what was in it. I didn’t get an exact recipe, so I’ve guessed at the proportions. The Düsseldorf Café may not be there if you try to find it; for unexplained reasons, the owners frequently change its name (to such things as Frankie’s Bohemian Café or the No-Name Café). And the menu often changes too; I haven't been able to find the Sicilian Pasta Salad on the menu for years. So I just have to make it myself.