Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Curried White Bean and Pasta Salad

Curried White Bean and Pasta Salad

Jalapeño peppers spice up this meatless side (or main)

So this year the we learned what a “heat dome” is (a high-pressure system that traps hot air underneath it, raising already hot summer temperatures well above average).

To cool down, we’ve been eating plenty of chilled salads for dinner. We love cold pasta salads in the summer, and adding white beans pumps up both flavor and nutrition. Perfect for Meatless Monday. Or any other day, for that matter.

Curry powder and jalapeño add even more zip to this dish. So it’s just the thing to take your mind off the heat.



Curried White Bean and Pasta Salad

Recipe: Curried White Bean and Pasta Salad

You can easily alter this recipe to suit your mood. Just add more white beans, for example, or use another kind of bean (we think garbanzos would be good). Or skip the beans altogether and substitute leftover chicken, pork, or fish. Or add some additional veggies to the mix. Lots of possibilities here.

Prep time for this dish is about half an hour. Plus, you’ll need to let it chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

As a main course, this recipe will serve 3 to 4 (twice that number as a side dish). Leftovers keep well for a few days if refrigerated in an airtight container.

Ingredients
  • 8 ounces dried pasta (preferably one with an interesting shape; we like shells, but macaroni, penne, farfalle, or other shapes work well too)
  • 1 tablespoon salt for seasoning the pasta cooking water
  • 1 to 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans (can double this amount if you want)
  • ½ onion (or to taste)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers (to taste)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh parsley or cilantro
  • ¾ to 1 cup mayonnaise (preferably Homemade, but commercial works well too)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons cider vinegar (to taste; optional)
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard (to taste; optional)
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon dried turmeric
  • additional salt to taste (about ½ teaspoon kosher salt; see Notes)
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste (about 10 grinds for us)
  • garnish of jalapeño pepper slices or parsley or cilantro (optional)
Procedure
  1. Fill a large cooking pot (one that holds at least 4 quarts) almost to the rim with water. Place it on the stove top, cover, and turn the heat to high. When water boils, add salt, then add the pasta. When the water returns to a boil, turn the heat down so the water stays at a rolling simmer. Set a timer for 6 minutes. At the 6-minute mark, add the frozen peas to the pasta. Cook for another 2 minutes, then start testing the pasta for doneness – you want the pasta to be firm, but with just a little resistance (al dente). When the pasta is done, pour the pasta and peas into a colander. Using the vegetable sprayer from your sink, douse with cold water until the pasta and peas are cool. Drain the pasta and peas, then set them aside.
  2. Meanwhile, open the can of white beans and pour them into a colander or strainer. Rinse the beans, drain them, then place them in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Peel the onion and cut it into dice of ¼ inch or so. Add the onion to the mixing bowl.
  4. Wash and dry the bell pepper, then remove the stem and core. Remove the white ribs. Cut the bell pepper into dice of ½ inch or a bit less. Add the chopped pepper to the mixing bowl.
  5. Wash the jalapeño peppers and cut them lengthwise. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the ribs and seeds (be careful, the oil on these is hot; keep fingers away from your eyes). Chop the peppers into very small dice (or use a mini food processor; you may want to reserve a round or two of the jalapeño for garnish). Add the chopped jalapeños to the mixing bowl, then wash your hands with soap and water to remove the hot oil from your skin.
  6. Wash and dry the parsley or cilantro. Mince it, then add it to the mixing bowl (you may want to reserve a few sprigs for garnish).
  7. Add the mayonnaise (start with ¾ cup, and increase if needed), cider vinegar (if using; start with 1 tablespoon), Dijon-style mustard (if using), curry powder, dried turmeric, salt, and black pepper to the mixing bowl. Mix briefly, then add the drained pasta and peas (from Step 1). Mix thoroughly, then taste the salad. Adjust the seasoning to your taste, and add more mayo if necessary.
  8. Scrape the salad into an airtight container (or cover the mixing bowl with shrink wrap) and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. 
  9. When serving, we like to add a garnish of jalapeño pepper slices or a sprig or two of parsley or cilantro.
Curried White Bean and Pasta Salad

Notes
  • Homemade mayonnaise is awesome in this dish, but commercial versions work fine. The amount of mayo we suggest makes a fairly “dry” salad, so add more if you want a creamier dish.
  • We like a Dijon-style mustard in this dish, but regular yellow mustard works too.
  • Cider vinegar adds a nice touch of acid to this salad. 
  • How much salt and black pepper to use? Really, add just enough until it tastes good to you. 
  • We use kosher salt, which is less salty by volume than regular table salt (its large crystals don’t pack as densely). If using regular table salt, start with about half as much as we suggest. But, as always, season to taste.
  • Do you have some cooked leftover veggies on hand? They might make a nice addition to this salad.
  • As would quartered cherry or grape tomatoes.
  • We’ve made this salad both with white beans and with leftover roast chicken. Both versions are good, but we prefer the bean version. We haven’t tried this recipe with garbanzo beans, but think they would be wonderful.
Curried White Bean and Pasta Salad

Hot Enough for Ya?

“Cool salad,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “Great for this hot weather.”

“Yes, indeed,” I said. “If you can’t stand the heat . . . make cold pasta salad.”

“Just don’t stay out of the kitchen,” said Mrs K R. “That’s where the refrigerator is.”

“You may take some heat for that comment,” I said.

“Just using my bean,” said Mrs K R. “So chill.”

If only we could.

You may also enjoy reading about:
Homemade Mayonnaise
White Bean and Tuna Salad
Tuna Pasta Salad
Pasta Caprese
White Bean, Tuna, and Swiss Chard Salad
Summer Pasta Salad
Whie Bean and Quinoa Salad
Healthy Edamame and Bean Salad
Salade Niçoise
Or check out the index for more

74 comments:

  1. I would never have thought to use curry in a pasta salad, it sounds sooooo good!

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    1. Hi Sue, it's a fun flavor! Not to mention really good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  2. Dear John,
    Wow! I love this...I could eat this meal all day long...Love cold salads and especially ones that have all of these ingredients. It is good as a side as you said, but I don't think I could do that. I would eat it as a meatless meal. I love the shells, because they had the peas inside of them..Fabulous! Thanks for sharing...Have a great week...Stay cool!
    Dottie :)

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    1. Hi Dottie, we like the way the peas nest in the shells, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  3. Luckily spending most of this week on Colorado where, although the sun is more intense, it is a bit cooler temperature wise. (Besides, it's a dry heat....) Love this salad. Am making it up upon my return home. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Debra, Colorado has nice summers! Lucky you. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  4. Hope you chill soon!It's been hot here, but luckily we don't have the humidity the way you do! Either way, this salad looks perfect. Curry is so perfect for hot weather! And the shells make me think of the seashore!

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    1. Hi Abbe, the humidity has been no fun. Luckily we have AC. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  5. I love using curry powder. Spices are so fun to play with and are very good for you.

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    1. Hi Laura, curry powder has such nice flavor, doesn't it? We often mix our own curry powder, but there are several good store brands, too. Thanks for the comment.

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  6. I love curry powder! I've never tried them with pasta salads yet though! It looks so delicious.

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    1. Hi Peachy, curry and pasta is a nice combo -- definitely worth trying. Thanks for the comment.

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  7. Cold pasta dishes are something I don't make enough of, love your version with the curry and spice. We have been having crazy weather here as well, fortunately no domes.......

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    1. Hi Cheri, glad you missed the dome! It wasn't fun. :-( Thanks for the comment.

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  8. This salad looks nice and cool- although I guess the addition of the jalapeño pepper might give it some 'kick.' I've been hearing about the hot summer in the US- we just got back from a winter trip to the Southeast of South Australia- it was quite cold and windy- could hardly stand up due to the wind!

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    1. Hi Fran, I'm starting to look forward to cold weather! Although I do like summer. Thanks for the comment.

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  9. Our hot months are August and September. Right now we are under a blanket of coastal fog mixed with very fine ash (it has covered everything!) from the Soberanes fire along the coast. So I am happy to stay inside and make a big batch of pasta salad, with bright summer flavors. A wonderful way to enjoy pasta John!

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    1. Hi Deb, that ash doesn't sound like fun at all. I'd be inside, too. Making this. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  10. Well doesn't this look tasty and inventive!! I wish I could eat it!

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    1. Hi GiGi, this is a fun dish. Wish you could eat it, too -- it's really good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  11. Oh, look at this special salad! Curry is such an interesting additive and now you've got my mind racing with possibilities. Absolutely love this, John!

    “Just don’t stay out of the kitchen,” said Mrs K R. “That’s where the refrigerator is.” - hahaha! I burst out laughing!

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    1. Hi Robyn, refrigerators are important. :-) And curry is wonderful in a chilled salad like this -- such a lively flavor. Thanks for the comment.

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  12. Sounds delightful, and since I'm supposed to get "lotsa" protein this would be a nice spicy change to my usual repertoire. Thanks, John.

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    1. Hi Rosemary, this dish actually does have a decent amount of protein -- and it'd be easy to double the amount of the beans, which would add more. Thanks for the comment.

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  13. Delicious-looking salad. Your prep directions make it sound complicated, though I guess you could chop and add the vegetables to the beans in any order, and as you hinted, you could vary the vegetables a bit also. I'd like it in winter as well as in summer. Follows the principal of hot climate cooking -- do your cooking in the cooler part of the day, eat later, maybe after dark.

    But I agree that you can't be too careful with the seeds from inside peppers. I have always been careful with them when cooking, but once handled some from a salad in a restaurant: trying to remove the seeds before I ate the peppers. Then I touched my eyes -- disaster!! Fortunately I was with a friend who carries soothing eye drops.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Mae, I've pondered whether I should condense my prep instructions -- I could easily write just one sentence (dice your onion and red bell pepper, mince your jalapeño). And I know the longer the list of numbered instructions, the more complicated a recipe seems. I'm still on the fence -- and may change it one of these days. It's overkill for experienced cooks, I know. Anyway, the seeds/oil from jalapeño is no joke! I think we've all experienced something similar. Thanks for the comment.

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  14. I love the addition of turmeric and curry - so smart and tasty! I love that you can adapt this recipe to what you have on hand. I am a big fan of adding white beans to simple salads - so filling and good-for-you delicious! Thanks John - stay cool.

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    1. Hi Tricia, we've made this several times, and each time had different veggies. Fun dish to play with! Thanks for the comment.

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  15. Looks so flavorful! Perfect side dish for summer gatherings and is so easier to make!

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    1. Hi Rahul, isn't this nice? And it really is an easy recipe. Thanks for the comment.

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  16. The "heat dome" brought pasta salad to our house too this week. Love your version. GREG

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    1. Hi Greg, we live on salads in the summer! Well, some BBQ and burgers, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  17. Yum, what a lovely looking pasta salad! I love pasta and I love beans to. Pasta and curried beans sounds way too delicious together!

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    1. Hi Anu, it's a really fun combo of flavors -- so tasty! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  18. My mom used to add spices to any pasta dish to make it "Indian" . I would be horrified initially but her final dishes were out of this world. Your post reminded me of her. Wonderful dish!

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    1. Hi Ansh, there are also a lot of Asian noodle dishes that use curry -- pasta and curry really go well together. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  19. My white beans are popular this week :-) Yes it is hot and salads are a great dinner alternative. Love this one, I am a big fan of curry. Will be trying this one out this summer!

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    1. Hi Evelyne, you'll love this! Thanks for the comment.

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  20. I have yet to make a pasta salad this summer. Such an oversight!!! Love this curry spiced version---so full of flavor!

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    1. Hi Liz, we've had 2 or 3 pasta salads this summer -- all versions of this! We like it, a lot. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  21. A heat dome? Never heard of it. Sorry to hear it's been so hot. I wouldn't mind swapping for a week or two. We're in the depths of our winter (it's pretty mild actually but we like to complain), and I'd love a bit of heat. I do love a cold pasta salad! And I think curry powder on pasta salads is great xx

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    1. Hi Charlie, you don't want to experience a heat dome, trust me. :-) Although my impression is your weather gets even more brutal in the summer than that in most of the US. Thanks for the comment.

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  22. Although it is a few ingredients off, I can't help but think about my absolute favorite, coronation chicken. I love curry and mayo mixed into stuff and this looks like a real winner to me. Since my kitchen is gutted this just might be something I could make with my multi cooker. Thanks for this recipe.

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    1. Hi Karen, I don't know coronation chicken, so I just looked it up. I'll bet the flavor of this is really similar! No pasta in that one, of course. If you like that, you'll definitely like that. And may want to substitute chicken for the beans. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  23. This looks so flavorful. I love the curry even though my family isn't a fan. I can make it when friends come over or for Potluck!

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    1. Hi Vicki, this would be a good potluck dish -- easy to make in quantity! Thanks for the comment.

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  24. Definitely my type of meal... Please, give me a fork!!!

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    1. Hi Denise, one fork coming up. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  25. You have fantastic flavors in this pasta dish. I love the jalapeno, cilantro, and turmeric. Terrific meat-free meal for any day of the week.

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    1. Hi Kristi, isn't this a really neat dish? Lotta flavor. And you can do anything with it -- add any veggie you like, etc. Thanks for the comment.

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  26. This looks fabulous John!! We all love pasta salad in the summertime! I will have to pin the recipe for later.
    Thanks for sharing
    Julie
    Gourmet Getaways

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    1. Hi Julie, we'd eat this in the winter too, but mainly a warm weather dish for us. You'll love this when your warm season arrives! Thanks for the comment.

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  27. Have never tried curry in pasta salad.. this is a great idea. We also would love this with beans more... very convenient for the season

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    1. Hi Amira, beans are really nice in this! Meat tends to take over a bit too much, IMO, although it's still good that way. Thanks for the comment.

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  28. Pinning this one. Love e-v-e-r-y single ingredient in this salad. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hi Lea Ann, this is really tasty -- you'll enjoy it. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  29. Great minds ... Like you, when the temps rise, I make pasta salads in the morning and give them the rest of the day to chill. Leftover veggies are just as likely to become an ingredient as are fresh. Haven't used beans, though, John, for no reason that I can think of. Just not in the habit, I guess. This salad of yours could cause me to form a new habit. It sounds great. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hi John, beans are such a good source of protein that we use them a lot. And pasta and beans pair so well! And of course the curry adds a fun twist. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  30. John, this sounds so fresh and flavoursome! Many thanks, love your work!

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    1. Hi Liz, we love this dish! But then, anything curry is a favorite. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  31. What a great recipe, especially for this very warm summer! I'd love to try it with edamame instead of the peas, as well. Can't wait to make this one.

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    1. Hi Beth, edamame is a wonderful idea! I bet it'd be spectacular in this. Thanks for the comment.

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  32. I love this salad and there are lot of options to it, bet it was great with chicken too! I'll try to make a lot of things, but I'll leave the mayo to Hellman's! Great recipe, thanks, John!

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    1. Hi Pam, it was excellent with chicken. Would like to try it with leftover roast pork. Hellman's makes good mayo -- even though we often make our own, we always have some of that in the refrigerator. Thanks for the comment.

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  33. I love the flavors of this salad and it is a perfect summer meal especially here where temperature today will reach 40's C.

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    1. Hi Katerina, that's hot! The hottest we've been (so far!) this summer is a few degrees less than that -- about 100 F. Thanks for the comment.

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  34. There is a lot going on on this pasta salad...I love the idea of curry in it...and the white beans to give some creaminess as well...looks delicious John and I can easily have this pasta as a main dish.
    Have a great week :)

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    1. Hi Juliana, there IS a lot going on in this dish, isn't there? And all good! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  35. How we know what you mean about the heat! We had the third hottest July recorded here in NM. We had to keep a shade over our bean plants to keep them from burning up. This salad is a great solution for us humans who need shade AND food. :) Love the curry component in this salad! Just made a huge pot of white beans tonight for at least 3 meals this week. Looks like I found one of those meals. Great salad! Thanks!

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    1. Hi MJ, our tomatoes are burning up! Cherry tomatoes are doing OK, but that's about it. :-( Anyway, you'll like this -- really fun flavor. Thanks for the comment.

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  36. Curry on a pasta, thats something new to me. Very creative and looks very interesting, I bet it tasted amazing!

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    1. Hi Raymund, isn't this a fun flavor for pasta? We love it! Thanks for the comment.

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  37. Curry powder on noodles is the best! Your recipe is perfect for the hot weather that we have all year here. Both hubby and I would devour this. Thanks John.

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    1. Hi Nancy, we love curry powder and pasta -- they work really well together, don't they? Thanks for the comment.

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