I know, it's only January so why am I whipping out the summer recipes? Well, because it was 75 degrees in Dallas this weekend!! I was craving something fresh I could have in the fridge all week. I absolutely love my veggies so this is my type of dish. If you don't like red onions, throw in green onions. Have celery in the fridge? Skip the cucumber. Basically make this pasta salad your own with your favorite veggies.
My favorite part of this pasta salad is the veggie flavored spirals. Each bite of pasta has a different burst of taste...just a party in your mouth! Most grocery stores have some sort of veggie flavored pasta you just may have to look a bit. I've seen many different brands.
Boil water and add pasta. Cook according to directions. I always set the timer for the least suggested time and taste check it at that point. I like my pasta al dente, not mushy. No one wants mushy pasta salad either.
Strain your pasta and rinse thoroughly with COLD water. Pasta salad is supposed to be cold..not warm.
Chop your veggies! I used about half of a red onion, whole red bell pepper, whole green bell pepper, half a carton of grape tomatoes and a handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley.
I like to remove the waxy skin off the cucumber before I add it to my pasta salad. A potato peeler does the trick for this.
Time to make the dressing. I used about a cup of my favorite Italian Dressing and a couple tablespoons of mayo. I like my pasta salad a little creamy, which is why I added the mayo. If you want your pasta salad oil-based just leave out the mayo.
Whisk the mayo and dressing together with a whisk or fork until well blended.
Put the drained, cold pasta in a large bowl. Add your veggies. Drizzle dressing on top and mix!
Salt and Pepper to your taste. If you feel like your pasta salad needs more dressing you can mix some more up and add it. Just remember, you can always add dressing, not remove.
Spoon yourself a bowl and enjoy!
What would I have done differently? Well I was starving when I made this and didn't allow time for the pasta salad to chill in the fridge for awhile. The flavors will marry with time. The pasta and veggies will soak up more of the dressing and will only get better (unless it's been in the fridge for a week...probably time to throw away). Also, next time I may try to make my own dressing with oil, vinegar, spices and herbs. This was still fabulous and definitely easier. I was so hungry today I was about to eat my arm. I didn't have time to make my own dressing :)