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Dish #1: Tomato-based Pesto Pasta Salad

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This is my first dish for this summer! I would give myself a 3.2 / 5.0 on taste and 2.0 / 5.0 on presentation. Tasty but definitely a lot I could improve on. for example, how it’s presented haha. We were all so hungry that I just plopped everything on plates.

Total time: 1 hour (?)

The link to the recipe (<– it has much better pictures). It doesn’t say so, but I am almost positive that the recipe is for 4 servings. Also, farfalle is just the Italian word for “bow-tie pasta,” so don’t freak out 🙂

I am such a beginner; I don’t even know the “proper” way to chop lettuce. This helped.

How I deviated from the recipe:

I used regular diced tomatoes for the sauce and it turned out fine so don’t worry if you don’t have canned sun-dried tomatoes. I also didn’t use sun-dried tomato oil (obviously), and just used apple vinegar.

I added a bit of dried basil to the sauce before blending everything in the blender.

For the salad, I put in just a little bit of balsamic vinegar and olive oil when mixing everything (but next time I won’t because the pesto sauce is enough).

Things I liked about this dish:

The sauce is really subtle and delicious (kinda spicy) and such a pretty color. The pasta and salad and sauce all mixed together really well. It didn’t take that long to make.

Suggestions, things to do better next time:

The dish said 5-6 cloves of garlic but my sisters and I were constantly drinking water because the sauce was spicy and hot in that special garlic-y way. I put in 6 cloves and will definitely put in 4 next time. Also, blend a bit more next time because the garlic cloves were not entirely blended. A little bit less than 3 tablespoons of soy sauce and vinegar.

I didn’t know that marinating onions was supposed to take 24+ hours, so remember to marinate your onions beforehand! (Here’s a helpful link on marinating onions.) After soaking my onions for awhile in that special marinating sauce (albeit for only 30 minutes), I sauteed them brown before putting them in the salad.

I would also add more cherry tomatoes and cucumbers to the salad than what the recipe suggests. Makes it more fresh! Also, to bring more freshness, don’t add olive oil or balsamic vinegar to the salad.

Make the presentation prettier! (Which means I gotta lose the plastic plates.)

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