Italian Pasta Salad

>> Thursday, August 7, 2008

I have a few different versions of pasta salad that I like to make. Pasta salad is so easy and so versatile. It's a very easy way to use up ingredients from your fridge. You can throw in anything you want really - leftover diced chicken, artichoke hearts, bell peppers, green onions, diced red or yellow onion, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, anything. This isn't so much a recipe as it is a method.

16 ounces of tri-colored rotini
2 avocados, diced
1 cup cheese (I used mozzarella, but I don't think it had enough sharpness to it, so next time I think I'll try feta. If you do use feta, please don't use an entire cup of it! :) )
2 tomatoes, diced (or you can use a can of petite diced tomatoes)
olives (either 3/4 can of whole pitted olives that you cut in half or 2 small cans of the pre-chopped kind)
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/2 bottle of Italian dressing
salt and pepper, to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. Run cold water over pasta to cool it off. Or, if you're in a hurry, fill a large bowl with water and ice and submerge your colander into the ice bath. Combine cooled pasta, Italian dressing, cheeses, olives and tomatoes in a large bowl until well combined. Taste for seasonings, adding salt and pepper, if needed. Gently fold in avocado. Chill for about an hour before serving.


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