When I want a quick salad to go with whatever is on the grill, pasta salad is an easy choice. I typically use whatever fresh vegetables happen to be on hand. Then add cheese and meat according to preference or mood of the day. I have found this to be a good venue for whole grain pasta. This is because the use of dressing makes it hard for “picky eaters” to distinguish between the “white stuff” and whole grain.
What veggies for the pasta salad?
Because I had these on hand, I used tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, yellow bell pepper, green onions. In addition to the veggies, I added salami and mild brick cheese. And pasta of course. I like to use rotini; the dressing clings better to the spirals.
My dressing solution is super-simple. Basically, use some Italian salad dressing, mixed with a little bit of mayo. The mayo thickens the dressing slightly so it sticks to the ingredients.
Easy Pasta Salad
- 1-1½ cup rotini pasta whole grain
- 10 baby carrots cut up
- 1 cup grape tomatoes halved
- ½ yellow bell pepper chopped
- ½ English cucumber chopped
- 1 bunch green onions chopped
- 5 slices salami chopped (about 1 ounce)
- ¾ cup shredded mild cheese I used brick
- ¼ cup Italian salad dressing I use Newmann’s Own
- 1 TB mayonnaise
- Cook pasta until al dente (my brand called for boiling 8-10 minutes, I did 8) then rinse and immerse in ice water to cool down. Drain.
- Cook the carrots by immersing in water and microwaving 2-3 minutes. Drain and cool.
- Chop all other vegetables and the salami. Shred the cheese.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the salad dressing with the mayo until smooth.
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate before serving. Salt and pepper to taste.
Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.
Did you know?
The art of pasta making and the devotion to the food as a whole has evolved. Italians eat over 27 kg (60 lb) of pasta per person, per year (estimated). This easily beats Americans, who eat about 9 kg (20 lb) per person. In Italy, they love pasta so much that individual consumption exceeds the average production of wheat of the country. Thus, Italy frequently imports wheat for pasta making. In modern society pasta is easy to find. A variety of types are available in local supermarkets. With the worldwide demand for this staple food, pasta is now largely mass-produced in factories; therefore only a tiny proportion is crafted by hand.
Pasta was originally solely a part of Italian and European cuisine. With an increase in popularity on a worldwide scale, pasta has crossed international borders. It is now a popular form of fast food and a staple in North America and elsewhere. This is due to the great amount of Italian immigration into Canada and the United States around the beginning of the 20th century. (Source: Wikipedia)