Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Easy Pasta Salad

I once bought a box of pasta salad. Pasta, seasoning packet, three easy steps explained on the back. I ended up adding so many of my own ingredients I wondered why I ever thought to buy a box of pasta salad in the first place. What's so hard? Pasta. Easy! Other stuff. Easy! And fun. Today I tried it out on my own, as you can see in the photo above. Here's all you need:

Pasta (Rotini is my favorite for pasta salad. Any variety will work!)
Olive oil
Vinegar (Balsamic, flavored balsamic, apple cider, whatever you like.)
If you don't have/don't like olive oil and vinegar, just use bottled Italian dressing
Seasoning (think of stuff like garlic powder, black pepper, crushed red pepper, parsley flakes, etc.)
Veggies (Anything you can think of! Broccoli, carrots, radish, snap peas, red pepper, tomatoes, onion, cauliflower, chickpeas...)

Cook and drain the pasta. I used about one and a half to two cups uncooked. Add two or three tablespoons of dressing or olive oil/vinegar mix. This is all to your taste, so more or less. Add in your spices. I used ground black pepper, garlic powder and McCormick's Perfect Pinch seasoning in roasted garlic and bell pepper. Add your veggies. I used snap peas, radish and onion. (To tone down the onion flavor, I quickly sauteed them for a few minutes until slightly soft.) Just add it all together in a bowl and stir it up! Put it in the fridge for a few hours until it gets cold. try adding chunks of feta or mozzarella cheese before serving for an added flavor. There you have it, the perfect summer pasta salad!