Friday, October 12, 2012

Pasta Salad {Foodie Friday}

I’m not a big vegetable fan, so pasta salad for me usually involves pasta, Italian dressing, and maybe some cheese. Healthy, I know. This is DH’s version. I still eat it and enjoy it, I just try to pick around the veggies. He knows now that the smaller he chops the more I will eat. The beautiful thing about pasta salad is that you can add whatever you want. Some people put lots of cheese, maybe broccoli, bacon or whatever else is sitting around the kitchen.

Italian Pasta Salad

For the Salad Dressing:
Italian Salad Dressing (we never measure, just pour until all the noodles are covered.

For the Salad:
12 oz. pasta, cooked (we used a tri-color garden variety)
3 cups assorted vegetables of your choice:
1/2 red, yellow, and or green onion

1 tomato
1/4 cup red onions, minced (optional)

1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Using colorful pasta and vegetables makes for an especially attractive salad. We like to use multicolored rotini or fusilli or rotini and ziti/penne, but any pasta may be used for variety.

Mince vegetables.
Remove the pasta from the cooking water using a large mesh or straining spoon. Do not discard the water.
In a large bowl, pour the dressing over the cooked and drained pasta while still hot.
Fresh or frozen, raw or cooked vegetables (or any combination) may be added. Broccoli, carrots, corn, baby corn, peas, green beans, onions, cherry tomato halves and marinated artichoke quarters are all good candidates for inclusion in a pasta salad.
Add the vegetables to the pasta salad and mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings. More salt, pepper, herbs and cheese may be added, or a little lemon zest or juice, or even a pinch of granulated garlic.
For variations, 1 cup bite-sized mozzarella, thinly sliced salami, prosciutto, ham, capicola or pepperoni strips can be added to the salad.

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