I’m not sure why, in the recent times, carbohydrates have got such a bad name. Carbohydrates, or carbs as everyone refers to them as, are a necessary part of our diet and are the primary source of energy without which we wouldn’t be able to function. Our ancestors have been eating carbohydrates for ever and our bodies need them. Of course, it is understandable that certain health conditions require restriction of carbs. I would blame our “modern” diets and lifestyles largely for the bad reputation that carbs have.
Coming from a predominantly rice eating culture, for me carbs are a natural part of my diet. It is a bit difficult to imagine my meals without some form of it. By extension, then it’s not surprising (to me anyways) that I love pasta as well. The sheer variety of the shapes available ensures a lack of monotony when it comes to cooking pasta.
I recently discovered Rotelle or Ruote, a wheel shaped pasta, while shopping at one of the supermarkets here. Not surprisingly, this pasta derives its name from the Italian word for little wheels. It is commonly referred to as wagon wheel pasta in English, especially in the US. Pasta comes in varied shapes and the larger or tubular shapes tend to hold more sauce within them unlike spaghetti which would be very lightly coated in comparison. The general rule of thumb is that the bigger the pasta the heartier the sauce it should come with. Those with a lot of holes/ crevices are good at holding bits of tomato and other ingredients that come in a chunky sauce.
That aside, I also happen to like Pasta Salads. To me, it’s a perfect one-dish meal whichever way one looks at it. It’s pretty easy to put together. It’s a great way to use up those bits of vegetables in the crisper. You can have hot or cold and it’s a perfectly balanced meal if you can add a bit of protein to it. This Pasta Salad ticks all those boxes and makes for a light and cooling minty summer time lunch. You can use whatever vegetables you have on hand and different pasta too. I added chickpeas for protein and used the dark brown kind because that is what I had on hand ready to use. I used English cucumbers because it’s the season for them now, they don’t require peeling and have very little seeds.