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This Italian pasta salad recipe will add flavor to your Fourth of July

An Italian pasta salad that makes your mouth go "pop" is the perfect way to celebrate July 4th.
Carl Tremblay/Carl Tremblay
Kendra McKnight
An Italian pasta salad that makes your mouth go "pop" is the perfect way to celebrate July 4th.

What’s more American than celebrating July 4th with an Italian pasta salad? After all, two Italian Americans signed the Declaration of Independence: Caesar Rodney, of Delaware and William Paca of Maryland…

Besides, do you really want to flip burgers over a hot grill on an even hotter summer day when you could have a refreshing pasta salad Italiano!

Dan Souza is not Italian. He’s the chief content officer for America’s Test Kitchenand he taught Morning Edition’s A Martinez an amazing Italian pasta salad recipe.

Here are some interview highlights

Everyone Loves Pasta

“Pasta salad is such a wonderful thing. We all love pasta, but we felt like there could be some really thoughtful improvements to the formula. It's a great one to bring to the party. [This recipe} is a party in your mouth. It is probably the most flavorful pasta salad I've ever had. “

Breaking the pasta rules

Most Americans are very familiar with al dente to give more texture to the pasta. But we're going to break the rules. In pasta salad, because we’re going to chill it really well, the pasta firms up really well during that process. So, we're actually going to overcook this pasta by about 2 to 3 minutes. It's going to seem pretty soft. But then, as we cool it down, it's going to firm back up a little bit.”

Dan Souza, Chief Content Officer, America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen / Catrine Kelty
Catrine Kelty
Dan Souza, Chief Content Officer, America's Test Kitchen

Damage your garlic

“What's really interesting about garlic is there's no garlic flavor in a clove until you start to damage it. You can smash the clove with the side of your knife and then run your knife through it in a couple of different directions. And that'll do the job. The more you damage those cell walls, the more destruction you essentially do, the more flavor you create."

Anchovies are your friends

“A lot of people grow up having a bad anchovy experience at like a pizza shop. They're not high quality, and so they get turned off by them, which is really unfortunate because when they're good, they're incredible. They don't taste fishy. They taste meaty and super savory. People talk a lot about umami nowadays. It's that super savory sense we get from an amino acid. So if you like that, umami flavor, anchovies are your friends."

Don’t be afraid of mayonnaise

“It is a long-held belief that mayonnaise left out and becomes room temperature is the dangerous component in any salad. The truth is, and we've actually we've done some tests and we've talked to manufacturers, is that mayonnaise that you buy at the store in that jar is actually stable at room temperature even after it's open. It is it is highly acidic. And that is actually one of the things that protects it. So, when people assume that they've gotten sick from the mayonnaise in a salad, it's often not the mayonnaise, it's the other ingredients."

Whether you like warm mayonnaise is a completely different question.”




Reena Advani edited the audio story

Copyright 2024 NPR

Barry Gordemer is an award-winning producer, editor, and director for NPR's Morning Edition. He's helped produce and direct NPR coverage of two Persian Gulf wars, eight presidential elections, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and hurricanes Katrina and Harvey. He's also produced numerous profiles of actors, musicians, and writers.