Friday, June 24, 2011

Italian Pasta Salad

Summer just screams pasta salad. I don't like the kind covered in mayonnaise though. I prefer a vinaigrette-type dressing - or bottled Italian dressing for that matter. This recipe is a delicious and fresh tasting option for all your summer parties. Did I mention it is incredibly easy to prepare?

No, I mean REALLY easy. If you can chop vegetables and cook pasta, you can make this dish. Trust me.

1/2 lb pasta of your choice, cooked and drained
3 cups assorted chopped vegetables of your choice (broccoli, green peppers, onions, corn, tomatoes, etc)
* I par cooked the broccoli in the pasta water for a few minutes
8 oz (small bottle) Italian dressing

Combine all ingredients except dressing in a large bowl. Add dressing; toss well. Serve chilled or at room temperature. That's it.

This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to feed more people. It can also be easily modified to assist you in emptying out your refrigerator. Because Shaun and I are the only two in our house, I frequently have half pounds of pasta lying around... this is a great way to use it up (along with veggies that are on their last leg). You can even add some cubed cheese to jazz up the dish. Like anything marinated, it is best to make this a day ahead of time and then serve it. Even if you only have a few hours, it's better than eating it right away. The dressing really gets absorbed by the cooked pasta so that it is bursting with flavor in every bite! I served this salad with garlic bread so I could soak up any last juices. It's better than licking the plate, don't you think?

Pack up your salad and take it with you to a friend's house.
They will love you for it.
Tutti Mangia!


Syl said...

From the sound of the title, I thought this might have been the pasta salad you made for the fathers day BBQ, which too date might be my 2nd favorite thing you've ever made (first will also be your stuffed peppers). But this dish looks great too, and your right I probably could make this!!!!

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