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Cold Noodle Salad Secrets: Dress Noodles While Still Warm

When you’re making cold noodle and pasta salads, one of the most important parts is to ensure that the noodles are well-seasoned. As we’ve talked about before, this starts by¬†making sure that the pasta water is well salted, but there’s one more trick to getting your pasta to be full of flavor:

While the pasta is still hot, toss it with 1/2 to 3/4 of the dressing. As the pasta cools, it will absorb the dressing, flavoring the noodles from the inside out. After the noodles cool and right before serving, toss the salad with the remaining dressing.

This technique serves two purposes. First, by adding the dressing to the pasta while its still hot, we can add an extra layer of flavor to the noodles in addition to the salt from the cooking water. Also, since many flavors tend to get muted in cold dishes, adding extra dressing at the end ensures that we’ll still get a bright, full flavor.