Mar. 2nd, 2010

wychwood: Leia is better than you (Fan - Leia (is better than you))
[personal profile] wychwood
This is a great idea! I'm currently looking for more easy packed-lunch ideas. In the meantime, here's my standard fall-back:

Pesto Pasta Salad

- cook pasta of choice
- drain
- mix with pesto
- top with grated cheddar cheese

Pasta of choice: I use fusilli, generally, and the tricolore variety when available. You want something that has enough shape to hold the sauce, but not so much that it's all trapped inside.

Quantities: I tend to do this by eye, mostly. Find the size of lunchbox you want your portion to fit into, fill it to about 1/2 to 3/4 volume (depending on your brand of pasta - some expand more than others when cooked, I find), and use that as your measure of quantity. Add pesto until the salad looks green enough. More-or-less cover the top with cheese, or add more or less according to taste.

You can also add (bell) peppers, either roasted or raw, chopped up and mixed in with the pesto. I would recommend approximately 1/2 a large pepper per portion. I've also tried this with chopped hard-boiled egg, raisins, and nuts, but none of those was as successful. Other cheeses might be interesting to try, but you want something with a fairly strong taste to balance the pesto.

This is a super-basic recipe, but it's reliably tasty both hot and cold, and it freezes well. I typically make up an enormous vat and then freeze it in small sandwich bags, to be brought out as required; that helps get around the problem of "I want to get all my cooking done at once but I don't want to eat the end result every day for a week".

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