Cold pasta Salads
From Your Pantry or Garden
Faster than going through the drive-thru you can create a Cold Pasta Salad. If you have pasta (fusilli to shell to wagon wheel and much more works) in your pantry you are more than half-way there. Freely make substitutions to this salad to make it a family favorite. All sorts of room for creativity. I just love these salads year ’round.
Be fearless and give this a try!
Cook one pound of your favorite pasta shape per package directions for al dente in 1 tablespoon of salt. Drain and immediately add 3/4 to 1 cup of your favorite salad dressing. See below for my selection. If you have all your ingredients chopped and sliced add to the mix then stir and refrigerate. Otherwise set aside pasta mixed with dressing and finish putting together a combination of the following:
Add 4-6 cups total ingredients, your choice, to the cooked pasta. You can select more than one ingredient from each group. I definitely encourage onion. Combine from the following:
1/4 Cup capers, roasted pine nuts, chopped pimento, chopped jalapeño, chopped parsley, sliced peperoncini
1/3 Cup torn basil leaves
1/2 Cup chopped (diced) sweet yellow or red onion, chopped green onion, chopped roasted red peppers, chopped red, yellow, orange or green bell pepper, sliced black olives, sliced green olives, sliced carrots
2/3 Cup 1/2 inch cubed mozzarella, jalapeño jack, jack, or crumbled (scant measurement) feta
3/4 Cup chopped cured Italian meats, such as mortadella, soppressata & other varieties of salami, pepperoni
1 Cup chopped raw broccoli, chopped raw cauliflower, diced zucchini, drained and rinsed canned cannellini beans
Sprinkle with grated Parmesan if you’d like
Salt and pepper to taste (you may not need this with your salad dressing)
Salad Dressing Recipes:
Measure the following ingredients in a medium size bowl: 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1/2-1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 2-3 teaspoons sugar, 1 garlic clove-minced, 1 tablespoon grated parmesan, and a shake or two of Italian spices-optional. Whisk vigorously.
Measure the following ingredients in a medium size bowl: 3/4 cup light olive oil, 1/4 cup white or white wine vinegar, 1/2-1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 2-3 teaspoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, and a couple of drops of hot sauce, such as Tabasco. Whisk vigorously.
1 Cup sour cream-low fat works just as well
1/4 Cup white or red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic-smashed and then minced or use mortar and pestle and grind into salt
1 Tablespoon sugar (taste for additional need for more sweet and sour taste)
1/2 Teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 Teaspoon pepper
1 Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon dried dill weed
1 Teaspoon dill weed
Mix and refrigerate to allow herbs to permeate if you don’t have the time to wait be assured it still has an amazing flavor.
Another French Dressing Here