Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Italian Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad can be prepared with any type of pasta tossed with either a vinaigrette or mayonnaise-based dressing. It can be served chilled and is commonly served as an appetizer but filling as a main course as well. Pick vegetables like broccoli, carrots, peppers, onions, olives and parmesan cheese that blend well and also complement the season. To toss a quick salad together, I stuck to a store-bought italian dressing but you can make your own too!!


2 cups dried tri-color rotini pasta
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup green onions, chopped (or red onions would work too)
1/4 cup black olives, pitted and sliced
1/4 cup pickled jalapenos, sliced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup roasted red bell pepper, chopped
12 grape tomatoes, halved
1 tsp italian seasoning
1/4 - 1/3 cup lite italian dressing
1 - 1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, for garnish (adjust to taste)
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste


Cook the tri-color pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add boiled pasta, celery, green bell pepper, roasted red bell peppers, olives, grape tomatoes, pickled jalapenos and green onions and mix well.

Add the crushed red pepper, italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste and toss all ingredients together. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for  30 mins or longer. Garnish with parmesan cheese and serve chilled.

Makes 4-5 servings.

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