Monday, April 14, 2014
Italian Pasta Salad
I was a little quiet on the blog and Facebook over the weekend, it was refreshing to have a little break and to just spend time with family. Both Friday and Saturday were gorgeous outside, so we spent lots of time soaking up those rays. Sunday, it rained all. day. long! It didn't make running errands very fun.
Of course this morning those of us in the Midwest woke up to snow on the ground. Yuck! But we have been enjoying the opportunity to break out those grills more often, especially last week.
Friday that's exactly what we did for supper. We had just picked up our hog from the locker and were anxious to try out some of our brats and hot dogs. Now, I rarely, as in maybe a couple times each year will serve my family hot dogs. Simply put, they just gross me out. But these, I wanted to try. I feel much better knowing where exactly the meat came from and knowing that the animal was raised in a humane way. They honestly put any type of hot dog to shame. I couldn't get over how good they were, and the brats too. We only asked for a few packages of the hot dogs, but they sure hooked us up with the brats. I told the hubby, we'll have to be eating those at least once a week all summer long!
I love a good pasta salad, especially for grilling season. It's also a great way to use up some of the fresh veggies from the garden, the market or our CSA box. This one here is pretty simple, it's one that we've made for years. Of course, we don't have any veggies in season yet around our parts so tomatoes and peppers from the grocery store had to do.
The dressing is key. Skip the store-bought bottled crap and make your own. I wish I could tell you it's cheaper, but really it's not. But it really does taste so much better, and I think you'll feel better too, knowing you can actually pronounce all of the ingredients.
Italian Pasta Salad
12 oz. tri-color pasta, cooked al dente
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
4 oz. cheddar cheese, cubed
1/2 bell pepper, diced (any color)
few slices ham or pepperoni, diced
for the dressing:
1 cup white wine vinegar
1-1/3 cup olive oil
3 tbsp water
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp salt
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tbsp basil
Start by making the dressing, combine all spices together in a bowl and stir well. Add in vinegar, olive oil and water and whisk together. If you happen to have one of these handy little gadgets, you can mix your dressing all together in there. Set dressing aside.
In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, tomatoes, cheese, peppers and meat, mix together well. Drizzle prepared dressing into bowl and gently toss together. You will not need to use up all of the dressing.
Chill pasta in the fridge until ready to serve. Pasta will dry out just a bit, feel free to add in a little bit more dressing. Store remaining dressing in the fridge.