One Of Ina Garten's Favorite Summer Pasta Salads Has A Unique Spin

Ina Garten is all about elevating basic dishes with key ingredient upgrades that create a more refined, elegant dish, and her pasta salads are no exception. One of her favorite summer pasta salad dishes offers a unique twist by removing the traditional penne, rigatoni, or bowtie pasta for silky angel hair pasta. While angel hair pasta may seem an odd choice, Ina Garten's recipe has gone viral on Instagram with over 120,000 likes, confirming that there must be something good about this swap. Angel hair pasta is longer and thinner than most typical pasta salad shapes. It works best for lighter pasta salads and simple, oil-based pasta salad dressings.

Angel hair pasta got its name because of its delicate shape and texture. When using this pasta in your pasta salads take extra care to not rip the pasta while mixing. Gently fold in your ingredients and dressing for the best results. Alternatively, you can lay your ingredients on top of the bed of pasta and drizzle your dressing on top of that. This best preserves the pasta shape and allows for more creativity when it comes to plating your dish. After you cook your angel hair pasta it's recommended to gently coat the pasta in some olive oil to help prevent the noodles from sticking together.

What to put in your angel hair pasta salad

While Ina Garten keeps her recipe simple with just tomatoes, basil, parmesan, and seasonings, you can customize this dish however you want. One of the best parts of any pasta salad is how experimental you can get with the flavors in your dish. Pasta salads are an excellent way to clean out your fridge and make the most of the last remnants of summer produce. Other mixins can include cooked summer squash, onions, corn, cucumber, or olives. You can make this dish more of a Greek pasta salad by adding feta, olives, and cucumbers and finishing off with an olive oil dressing.

You could also make this an antipasti pasta salad and combine salami, cheese, artichokes, onions, and whatever else you would typically enjoy in an antipasti salad. One thing to be mindful of when using angel hair pasta for your pasta salads is to make sure you chop up your ingredients a bit smaller to allow for more even distribution. Angel hair pasta is considerably longer than other pasta types — by cutting your ingredients up finer you can ensure that you get a little bit of each ingredient in every bite of your dish.