Monday, March 14, 2011

Tri-Colored Pasta Salad with Cheese

This recipe is what I used for my sister-in-law's bridal shower a few weeks ago.  I recently posted an entire menu of what was served, so feel free to visit back for more bridal shower food ideas.  When looking for a recipe for pasta salad, I wanted to go more traditional.  This one had a great list of ingredients and was just what I wanted: light, crisp, and not overly-dressed.

Tri-Colored Pasta Salad with Cheese


32 oz., dry tri-colored spiral pasta
16 oz. grape tomatoes, whole/halved/quartered (your preference)
1 can black olives, sliced
1/2 jar green olives, sliced
1 cucumber, chopped and seeds removed
1 whole sweet bell pepper (any color), chopped
3 whole celery stalks, chopped
3 whole green onions, finely chopped OR 1/4 of a yellow onion, finely chopped
8 oz. fluid Italian or Greek or Caesar Dressing (I used Zesty Italian by Newman's)
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dill weed
1 teaspoon black pepper
Optional: 16 oz. fresh Mozzarella Cheese, cut into 1/2 inch pieces


Cook pasta according to box directions, making sure to salt your water and not to overcook your pasta.  You want a nice bite to it!  Rinse with cool water and set aside.

Drain olives, then place them in salad bowl.  Add grape tomatoes, chopped cucumber, sweet peppers, celery, and mozzarella cheese (if using).  Add chopped onion.  Add cooled pasta into salad bowl, and pour the salad dressing on top along with dill weed and pepper.  Fold together until dressing is distributed.  It is best to make this the day before and let all of the flavors meld and the dressing to marinate the pasta and vegetables.  Stir in Parmesan cheese prior to serving.  Serve cold.

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