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Pasta salad – perfect side dish for Braai Heritage Day 2010

Posted on September 20, 2010 by in pasta

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I cannot believe it is Braai Heritage day again and that it is a year since I last wrotethis post. Time flies when you’re having fun and this has certainly been a busy and exciting year. Here in South Africa, having a braai is a serious matter and we will find a good enough reason to have one with friends and family often.
The word “braai” (pronounced – Afrikaans pronunciation: [ˈbrɑe.flæɪs], English: /ˈbraɪfleɪs/) is Afrikaans for barbecue, grilling, outdoor roasting generally cooking that is done on an open fire.
Braai Heritage Day has become a yearly event and it happens on Heritage day when South Africans are encouraged to gather around an open fire and to share their colorful heritage.  The man behind the idea is Jan Braai and on Thursday 16 September 2010 he showed just how committed he is to this idea by breaking the Guinness World record for the longest braai ever held. He braaied non-stop for 28 hours and 30 minutes.

Another South African that is passionate about her braai heritage is our own Cooksister. We are proud of you Jeanne for flying the South African flag so high there in London! She is hosting an event, Braai, the Beloved Country, and we are all called to share our favorite braai recipes.  I think last year I posted enough meat recipes to get us through a couple more of these events, so this year I want to focus on a delicious pasta salad that is a perfect partner for grilled fish, grilled chicken, lamb or beef. This easy pasta salad can also stand boldly on it’s own as a vegetarian meal, but for now let’s just treat it as a side salad.

Pasta Salad

The secret to this pasta salad is the Mushroom pesto that made earlier today.  I used portebelinis and shiitake mushrooms, but I am sure you can also use buttons or even portebello or porcinis.

For the Mushroom Pesto

250gr Mushrooms – wiped clean with a damp towel
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 big handfuls of fresh basil
2 big cloves of garlic
zest and juice of a lemon
about 50 g  blanched almonds
100gr grated Parmesan cheese
about 125-175ml olive oil

Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the mushrooms. Saute the mushrooms until they are cooked but not watery and soggy. Cool completely. Place all the ingredients, including the mushrooms, into a blender and  blitz until it is the desired consistency. While the machine is running add the olive oil until it has a slightly chunky, but creamy consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning. Now let’s make the salad.Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad

500gr pasta shells
½ green pepper – finely chopped
½ red pepper – finely chopped
½ yellow pepper – finely chopped
2 baby marrows – cut in small cubes
250gr cocktail tomatoes – halved
2 big handfuls of parsley – chopped
salt/ pepper
all the mushroom pesto
fresh basil for serving

Get a big pot of water to boil and cook the pasta according to instructions on the packet. Cool the pasta. Mix all the other ingredients together. When pasta has cooled down completely, add the pasta to the other ingredients and mix through. Adjust seasoning if needed.  Serve  in a beautiful salad bowl  with some torn basil or dish up individual servings in sterilized jars if you are going on a picnic. We enjoyed this delicious pasta salad with Spicy Spatchcock Chicken, potatoes and wonderful company. Do join us for Braai Heritage Day or this fun event hosted by Jeanne!

Pasta Salad

As you all know by now, the SA Blog Award Finalists have been announced and the two ladies in the Food and Wine Category is none other than Jeanne from Cooksister and Ally Simply Delicious.
Well done girls, I am so proud of you!. To everyone who voted for me, thank you, thank you, thank you! . I am so grateful for all your support.

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23 Responses to “Pasta salad – perfect side dish for Braai Heritage Day 2010”

  1. Arnold 20 September 2010 at 7:17 pm #

    I have just read the news from the SA Blog Awards. It does appear as if not much is going change from last year, or at least not in the category your blog was entered. Both the finalists are marvelous sites but in my opinion the judges have got it wrong. Next year will be the year for My Easy Cooking.

    Your salad looks delicious. Enjoy your Braai Day.

  2. bellini valli 21 September 2010 at 4:54 am #

    Barbecuing for over 20 hours really should hold a record. Can you imagine. Happy Braii Heritage Day.Enjoy!!!!

  3. cloe 21 September 2010 at 6:56 am #

    thanks for making pasta this time mom love you Chloe Timm

  4. Marisa 21 September 2010 at 8:35 am #

    Aaawwwww… my heart just melted when I read Chloe's comment above. 🙂

    This salad looks super yum Nina – am absolutely in love with the idea of a mushroom pesto – genius! Your recipes always inspire me and am gutted that you didn't make it to the final two in the Blog Awards. But better luck next time, right?

  5. Gaby866 21 September 2010 at 8:38 am #

    love the idea of a mushroom pesto Nina.. as for your photography./…amaaaazing !

  6. LadyRaven 21 September 2010 at 8:42 am #

    There is definitely summer in both our posts. This is going on my list of things to try.

  7. Nina Timm 21 September 2010 at 8:50 am #

    arnold – thx for your support, but arnold, there will not be a next year. I will stick to what I do best…cook!

    val – Braai is such a nice activity that I'm sure with all the spectators he had, it was a breeze!

    chloe – my pleasure darling!

    marisa – she is a cutie isn't she! Read comment to Arnold!!Thanks your for your ongoing support!

    Gaby – I am sure you will like this pesto, from what I read on your blog, you love "Fresh"!

  8. browniegirl 21 September 2010 at 9:50 am #

    Delicious divine tantalizing pasta salad Nins…and such glorious summery pix. Loving it. You should definitely be up there in the 2 top finalists Nina my friend. Something doesn't gel in SA Blogland. I am just so very glad I didn't bother! You are fabulous and I love you!! No award in this world can make you better than you already are. Hugs xx

  9. Sharon 21 September 2010 at 12:09 pm #

    Love the idea – and bottled nogals too! 🙂

    Re: the Blog Awards… it doesnt matter – you're a winner in all your avid fans eyes!! Always – with every post!! Which reminds me I must make your crumpets again soon – cravings!! xx

  10. Ally_R 21 September 2010 at 1:01 pm #

    This looks absolutely DELICIOUS!! 🙂 Gorgeous pics as always!

  11. My Carolina Kitchen 21 September 2010 at 3:14 pm #

    Nina, what a gorgeous presentation of the pasta salad. Your photo looks like it came out of a slick food magazine. Who wouldn't be pleased to be served this!

    I definitely think you should have been in the finals. You had my support and vote. I hope you'll enter again next year and change your mind on your comment to Arnold. Please think about it…..

  12. Mary 21 September 2010 at 5:47 pm #

    Happy Braai Heritage Day. Your pasta salad really looks and sounds delicious. I hope you have a great day. As to the competition – next year you'll give them a comeuppance. Blessings…Mary

  13. Juliana 21 September 2010 at 10:09 pm #

    Wow, 28 hours of BBQ…that is a bit intense for me 🙂
    The mushroom pesto in the salad pasta looks terrific…so yummie!

  14. Pam 21 September 2010 at 10:13 pm #

    Happy Braai Heritage Day.

    You not only make the best recipes, you take such amazing photos Nina.

  15. Lori Lynn 21 September 2010 at 10:39 pm #

    With all that grilling, I bet the air smells wonderful. Your pasta salad sounds awesome, love the idea of mushroom pesto and those jars are fabulous. Great presentation Nina!

  16. Sibi 22 September 2010 at 11:29 am #

    Come friday will be making this salad. This is great Nina thanks!!! Love the presentation!!!!

  17. Jeanne @ CookSister! 24 September 2010 at 5:34 pm #

    How many hours of braaing? sjoe!! That's brilliant – a man on a mission is our Janbraai!!

    Love the pasta salad – salads always end up being the poor relations at the braai, but not at EasyCooking HQ!

    I truly wish that it had been you in the final two with me at the SA Blog Awards – but then you know my feelings from our e-mail discussions 😉 Hugs – you are a fantastic lady!

  18. PinkPolkaDot 28 September 2010 at 10:00 pm #

    …ek probeer nou maar weer…het so pas 'n service error gekry!..

    die slaai lyk en klink wonderlik

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