I like salads made with lettuce, but after a while I get bored with them even when I vary the types of lettuce and ingredients and dressings.
So, to combat my lettuce boredom, today I'm making a pasta salad. This is not the normal mayonnaise laden macaroni salad, but instead, a lighter version full of colorful crisp veggies and dressed with a home prepared Italian dressing.
Italian Pasta Salad
1 12-oz. box of pasta. (I used farfalle, but use whatever fun shape you like.)
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 seeded and diced red bell pepper
1/2 seeded and diced green bell pepper
1/2 seeded and diced yellow bell pepper
1 cup cider vinegar
1 1/3 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 Tablespoon salt
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Be sure that you leave the pasta al dente. You want to avoid cooking it too soft to prevent it from falling apart when you mix the ingredients together.
When cooking is complete, drain and rinse the pasta with cold water. Set aside.
Dice the vegetables. I used a 1/4 inch dice on mine, but if you like chunkier veggies, go a little bigger.
Place the veggies in a large mixing bowl, add the pasta. Toss to mix.
Make the dressing by placing all the dressing ingredients in the order listed into a blender.
Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Pour the dressing over the pasta and veggies and gently stir to combine; coating all the veggies. It will look like a lot of dressing, but my experience has been that the pasta will absorb dressing, so don't worry about it being "juicy".
Put the salad into a air tight storage container and refrigerate.
Eat what doesn't fit in the container...it's okay, really, you have my permission.
....and that's What's Cooking at Cathy's ~ Enjoy!