Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Rotini Pasta Salad for Summer

This pasta salad recipe has been my summer BBQ “bring something to share” standby. It’s easy to make, and it yields quite a bit, and the leftovers keep well in the fridge for several days of lunches.

16 oz rotini pasta noodles (1 box)
2 tomatoes, chopped1 green bell pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms
1 cup black olives, pitted and sliced
8oz Italian-style salad dressing

I like to use cherry tomatoes instead of chopping up larger tomatoes. Depending on the size of the cherry tomatoes that I get, I’ll either slice them in half or throw them in whole. A full onion can be a bit overpowering for my taste, so I like to use just a half. Rather than chop the cucumbers, I sometimes slice them for presentation.

My routine is to get the water boiling and then start chopping. Once the water reaches a rolling boil, throw the noodles in for 10-15 minutes or until they reach your desired tenderness. Drain and rinse in cold water. Then, combine the noodles with all the other ingredients, including the dressing, and then cover and chill for a couple of hours before serving.

The recipe is pretty basic, and I’m sure you can make just about any substitution to customize it for your taste buds. Perhaps use yellow pepper instead of green? Add some mozzarella or feta cheese? For meat lovers, maybe some pepperoni or diced ham would hearty it up. Yum!

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