Tasty Tuesday and Summer Pasta Salad

Hi Friends! Summer is here, and I’m sharing a recipe Tasty Summer Pasta Salad today. Pasta salad is so easy to make, and nice and cool on a hot day! It is so satisfying, and I’m really excited to share this because it’s extra flavorful, and so fresh! It’s like you brought the garden in and tossed it in a bowl! So without further ado, let’s begin!

Ingredients:

  • 1 box tri-color rotini
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 medium red onion
  • cup of chopped broccoli
  • 1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 small container cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 bag small sliced pepperoni
  • 8 oz cubed Colby jack cheese 
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • salt 
  • pepper

Start by cooking the pasta in boiling water with a couple shakes of salt added, and maybe a tablespoon of olive oil. Cook for about 8-10 minutes. Put pasta in a colander, and rinse with cold water, gently moving the pasta so the cold water hits all of it and brings the temperature of the pasta down. *Note you could use a different kind of pasta- anything from spaghetti noodles to penne- think in terms of what fits nicely on a fork in a pasta salad. I like the pretty colors and the fun shape of these rotini noodles.

Chop your fresh ingredients.  I cut the broccoli into small pieces.

I clean the cucumber with a peeler and use the mandolin to slice the cucumber thin. Then I chop it further into small pieces.

I slice the red onion with the mandolin as well and then dice it into small pieces.

I chop the peppers, parsley, and slice the mini tomatoes. I also cube the cheese.

 

Next I place the pasta in a large bowl, and I add all the fresh chopped ingredients on top, holding back the cheese until the end. Doesn’t that look pretty?

Next in a small bowl, mix about 2/3 bottle of Italian dressing with 2 tsp minced garlic and 1/3 cup shredded parmesan. Stir.

Pour 3/4 of the dressing on top of the salad.

Season with salt and pepper, and add the cubed cheese.

Stir to mix the ingredients, and so all of the salad gets some of the dressing on it.

Chill for a couple of hours. Just before serving, add the dressing you reserved and stir one more time. And serve it up!

This salad is perfect with burgers or hot dogs.

It would be perfect for a potluck or barbecue.

It’s so flexible. You can use up the veggies in your icebox or from your garden! This would be great with zucchini, cauliflower, black olives, artichokes, all kinds of fresh veggies would work! You could make your own dressing with olive oil and either some lemon juice or balsamic or red wine vinegar. You could use basil, feta instead of colby jack, salami, provolone, there are all kinds of things you could add in your salad! The parsley really adds such a nice flavor! It’s even nice as a snack!

Now this will put a little coal in your furnace!

You may have notices the bright cheery bowl I put the salad in this week. I just got it at Pier 1 Imports. It’s actually a summer plastic, on sale right now. I just loved how happy it was in that sunny yellow color! I love happy things, and this is the perfect salad to go in that happy yellow bowl!

There is so much flavor in this salad, it’s like a party! When I was cutting the fresh ingredients tonight, it smelled so good I couldn’t wait to give it to my family! I knew they were going to dive in and just eat it up! I served it with some deliciously sweet watermelon as well, and it was like a celebration of summer in a delicious meal!

Sometimes life just needs to be celebrated in every way we can think of, even with our food! That is how I feel about this salad! It’s a celebration of bright flavors, of the fresh vegetables in the garden, of making people just feel happy and loved and appreciated! It is the kind of salad that will make you smile! And if you can bring the world a smile with a salad, then I say go for it!

I hope you have a fantastic week!

I’ll be back Friday for another post!

Love Always,

Amy

With just one smile, you can make a person’s day. That person might even be you!  

~Author Unknown

 

 

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