Thursday, June 12, 2014

Creamy Chipotle pasta salad

June is a month of nostalgia and memories.  Reminiscence of my childhood, of hot summer afternoons, of family vacations, of endless philosophical discussion with my father. It was seven years ago that I lost my father in June. I don’t know when in these seven years I let go of the pain and embraced myself with happy thoughts of him.  I just loved my long conversations with him, little did I know that those dialogues will become my most cherished memories and I would refer back to it like an old book. Thankfully  there was no e-mail back then, I just love to read and re-read his hand. His letters were never short, nor were they mundane, in some way they are age-less and the lessons in them are so relevant even today.   It took him several days to compose those letter and they almost always had a sequel. His last letter was written when he was 75 and he told us ( my sister and me) ,”this might be my last” , “if am around till 80 you might probably receive another one”….even though I have re-read most of his letters, I have not had the courage to re-read the last one after he has gone.  Every year I tell myself to wait another year…. 

He was a botanist, he loved his plants and would love to capture them, I think somewhere in my mother’s place are hundreds of slides, most of them captured by him. The argus light meter has seen more summers than I have, it belonged to dad. Seeing my love for photography my sister gifted it to me, it is one of my most priced possessions. 

I just had to do a post for dad this June…. When ‘finally teen’ said she was making a pasta salad, I was thrilled to post it, it somehow tied all the three generations together. He was always very creative and encouraged us too…am sure he would have loved this.

Pasta salad, cold pasta salad, summer pasta salad

Pasta salad, cold pasta salad, summer pasta salad

This salad has more pasta then veggies, when I had my bowl, it had more bell peppers. Finally teen loves her pasta and I think it shows ;) now over to finally teen for the recipe. Since finally teen is a regular visitor in the kitchen, always trying out something, I must do a section ‘from the teen’ what do you guys think ?
1/2 tsp Mrs.Dash Chipotle powder
1 tsp sriracha
Chili powder (optional)
1/2 small white Onion, minced or dried onion powder 
1 clove garlic or garlic powder 
1/2 cup milk ( preferably full fat)
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) Sour cream
1/2 cup Mayonnaise

salt to taste
pinch of sugar
basil for ganish

1 1/2 cup bow pasta cooked 

Paste the onion and garlic, mix the rest of the ingredients and whisk till everything is incorporated. Cook the pasta, wash in cold water, pasta should be cold to touch. Add bell peppers ( red, yellow, green) avocado and red onions and mix the cold cooked pasta, toss in the mayo mix and refrigerate for 2-3 hours for best flavor. Serve chilled. We did not use avocado as we had ran out of it. The salad dressing has a nice pinkish hue from the sriracha. Garnish with fresh mint or fresh basil. I thought we could add walnuts too but finally teen was not for it…so I would leave that to you. Am surprised that finally teen could make something like this, especially all the improvising from the original recipe. What was I doing? Watching TV…hey I need some me time too. 

The teen can cook - finally teen’s adventure in the kitchen 

Recipe adapted from here 

Wishing all the dads out there a great father’s day. Hope you have a wonderful weekend, lots of love. Print Friendly and PDF


  1. super creamy pasta.. simple recipe too.

  2. Beautiful post, Simi, I love how gently you revealed your memories, and shared your thoughts.
    Lovely images, and a simple and interesting recipe, feeling tempted to try it - hope I can find the Chipotle powder here, too.
    All together - great work!

    1. Thanks Miriam, let me know if you got the chipotle powder.

  3. Lovely clicks and a lip smacking recipe.

  4. yummy n creamy salad,love it!!

  5. June is a very emotional month for me Simi. I lost my dad very young! I am still trying to let go off the pain but it's not been easy.

    That was so nice of you to do a post for your Dad. Salad looks really delicious and lovely pics.

  6. This was a great blog post Simi, I loved reading your reflections and I hope you find even more comfort in them. I'm so sorry you lost your dad but it is great that you've been able to embrace the happy moments and keep all his letters. This salad also looks very delicious especially since it holds so much meaning.

  7. such a lovely tribute to your dad. Good to see your daughter eager to try her hand in the kitchen too.. looks like a nice and easy meal!

  8. Brings back so many memories which are so raw that just not able to put them in words ..... Hugs my friend !

  9. A very sweet tribute to your dad, Simi. Your pasta salad looks very appetizing.
    Love that pasta bowl :-)

  10. Scrumptious! A wonderful tribute to your father.

    Lovely clicks...



  11. I am eyeing that pasta and hubs sitting next to me is salivating over ur light meter, gorgeous pic Simi !

  12. Such a lovely post Simi.
    Lucky for you that your daughter started making meals :-) Enjoy the free time ;-)

  13. Simi, forgot to mention about the background you used in these pics. Love the rustic look, did u make it yourself? If so, how did you make it? Many thanks.

    1. Pavani,
      Thanks! yes I made the background…it is an old wall paper ( thanks to a friend who gave it to me) She had few extra sheets, I just glued it on a board, ripped some edges to give it an old look and painted ( water color mix of green and yellow) paint on it.

  14. I cannot wait to try this! It looks absolutely delicious! I am a huge chipotle fan! Pinning!


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