Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pasta salad

A good pasta salad is hard to pass up in the summer, with fresh crunchy veggies and cold dressings they're just very refreshing but don't seem as heavy as a plate full of your average spag.  The problem I have is that my favorite ones are usually doused in so much dressing that its worse than eating a heaping portion of fat kid spag.  If you haven't been to Palmers (locations in Des Moines and Ankeny), you have to try their pasta primavera even if that means you can't eat the rest of the day.  It's got this peppercorn ranch on noodles and broccoli that I would probably drink from a can if it were sold in soda machines. 

Anyway, whenever I've tried to make a pasta salad at home and skinny it up, it always turns out bland.  Something was missing and I couldn't quite figure out what.  We had a party last year for the 4th of July and my friend Melissa brought her famous pasta salad (shout out to M from the MAAK, I still have your tupperware).  From then on, I had a bowl of it made in the fridge at all times to munch on sporadically for the rest of the summer.  We hit 90 degrees yesterday in Iowa (and it's raining today...go figure), I came home to Justin on the deck getting the furniture all set up, wiring the outdoor speakers up again so we are with music, the pool is full, and summer is officially here in my book! So I got the craving for summer food and we are now all stocked up on pasta salad.  It's sort of a wing it recipe but here's what I used:

1 box Barilla wheat rotini
1/2 bag of shredded mexican cheese
1 container Nature's Sweet cherubs
1 cucumber (diced up)
1.5 cups green olives
1/2 bottle Kraft fat free zesty italian dressing
3/4-1 bottle Kraft fat free catalina dressing
cracked pepper to taste

I have also added black olives, and you can add whatever other veggies you want.  Cook the noodles as you normally would, drain and add to a large bowl along with all other ingredients and mix together.  Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.  That's it...seriously.  Here's what summer tastes like to me:

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