Sunday, June 6, 2010

Road Map Recipe - Summer Pasta

What Merlin is to magic, Debbi Rezvani is to cooking ; a master at stirring ingredients that make your tummy want to shout, "WOW!" when she is done.

While Debbi is known to whip up complicated gourmet meals of multiple courses, some of her best creations are three steppers:

1. Open the pantry.

2. What is in there.

3. Voila!

One of the most requested recipes from mom's memorial was for Debbi's pasta salad. It was not a surprise when she answered the request with what I call "road map" instructions

"Like most good things, there is no recipe...Lots of chicken, cut up; pasta, hard boiled eggs, pickles, onions, olives, mayo."

It is oldest son "Reza's favorite and as soon as the weather gets a little warm, we have it for dinner many nights."

Salt and seasoned pepper unsaid. A sea of good dinners glimmer ahead. Substitutions swam in my head- tuna for chicken. Scallions for the onion. Colors fly- sweet red bell pepper for red, Italian parsley for green. Side dishes synchronize for lazy evenings ahead- ripe melon, Caesar salad. Lemonade.

When you are "In the Mood" for summer pasta, what do you like? Send us your road map. Please.

Images by Gene Sasse. Used with Permission.

The buxom red tea rose is aptly named "In the Mood". She is the love child of R. City of San Francisco and R. Olympiad - a pair brought together by horticultural matchmaker Tom Carruth of Weeks Roses.


  1. "Pantry" cooking is the only way I enjoy! No recipe, just whatever is available. I'll try her salad. Sounds good. Will get a roasted chicken at the market! Needs mushrooms too and fresh chives. Thanks.
    xo Sue

  2. Like Oregon Sue, I too love flying by the seat of your pants cupboard cooking as well. Her idea of a roasted chicken at the Deli sure works for me. Will probably add some dill and chives for color for starters will keep to the original "list". Perfect for our summer weather when my oven is on a vacation, grill is ready to go and crockpot sits on counter. Really enjoyed your post.
    xo E.

  3. Made this. Added garlic/jalapeƱo olives, quartered artichoke hearts, halved grape olives, Parmesan cheese, and the lemon pepper deli chicken. OMG it was good!! Better the next day too!
    Thanks L.
    xo Oregon Sue

  4. OMG, I'm not crazy after all! ;-) I kept saying that pasta chicken salad was wonderful. Then someone said it was tuna afterward and I thought, ok, I must be loosin it!

    So it was chicken after all! I'm going to make that tomorrow night and I think I'm going to incorporate some of Sue's additions as well! Just to improve on a good thing!

    Thanks for posting this. Already copied down that wonderful tamale pie of Edda's. YUM!


  5. Lydia,

    One of my favorite pasta salads is one I just made for the 4th along with potato salad. It's rotini in the multi colored variety for color. I put lots of fresh chopped veggies such as brocolli, radishes, cauliflower, gr onions, black olives, green and red bell pepper, mushrooms and moz. cheese diced. When I want to be adventuresome I will put in cubed hard salami or tiny shrimp. Salt and pepper, par. cheese and lots of Wish Bone Italian salad dressing. YUM! It makes so much and I still have some in frig. It's a real crowd pleaser!

    Hugs, Trisha


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