Sunday, June 20, 2010

Summer Pasta Salad

I have always loved a good Pasta Salad.  It's such a great salad to make in the summer, what with all of the great vegetables that you can get at the Farmer's Market.  There were plenty of times on a hot summer night that this would be our dinner.  I would pack it full of everything I could find, mix it up and feel good about not heating up the kitchen to make dinner.  This filled us up plenty!  You can really put in anything you like - this is what I had on hand, but I have been known to add mushrooms, brocolli, corn, ham, turkey and loads of whatever I had available.  The sky's the limit!  Oh, and really, there is no measuring involved - just add away!
Start off with a box of Tri-color Rotini, cooked al dente - 8 minutes.  You want the pasta to be cooked, but not overcooked. Overcooked causes it to lose it's color and fall apart when you try to mix it up.  

Then, start adding whatever you would like - Green olives, drained and halved...

Black Beans, drained and rinsed....
Black Olives, drained and sliced...

Grape tomatoes - whole (these are small enough to leave as is.  I find that cutting the tomatoes makes it too soupy, so leave them whole).  If you use cherry tomatoes, slice them, but scoop out the seeds and membranes.

Green onions sliced - both white and green parts

Tri color peppers - red, orange and yellow - so pretty and fresh!

Don't leave out the green bell peppers - they want to belong too!
I love to add summer sausage and pepperoni - gives it some great flavor and texture.
Block cheese cubed - this is Monterey Jack and Colby

Now, how pretty is this? 
Dump a bottle of ranch dressing into a bowl, and mix in some dijon mustard.
Pour it over the top...
...and enjoy!!!


  1. I was just looking for a pasta salad for Gabe's graduation party and wah la. Your timing is perfect! I may go with this one. I like the "spin" on dressing. Thanks for sharing!

  2. not only sounds delicious but looks great!!! So colorful!!