Everything but the Kitchen Sink

RECIPE: Easy Pasta Salad

The other day, as I was wondering what I should write about this week, my friend Deanna asked me if I had any good recipes for pasta salad.  The recipe she had called for peppers, and her brand new baby Sullivan doesn’t like it when she eats peppers.  I told her I did have a recipe and thanked her for giving me something to write about this week.  (Fun fact about Deanna: 6 years ago one of our friends, Lara, organized a cross-country mix cd swap.  You made a cd of your favorite songs and sent it to 12 people all over the country.  To this day, Deanna’s cd remains my favorite and I copied it to my iPod and I have the original cd in my car at all times.  Just one of the many reasons Deanna is amazingly awesome.)

I found this basic recipe for pasta salad years ago, and I’ve used the dressing mix ever since.

But here’s the secret to pasta salad: step 1, choose a pasta, step 2, clean out your vegetable drawer.  Seriously, it’s that easy.  You can put anything you want in pasta salad, let it marinate in some vinegar and oil, and you have something delicious.

So even though I used peppers in the pasta salad I made this week (orange and yellow ones were on sale at Sprouts and I couldn’t pass them up!  I realize Deanna asked me for pasta salad with no peppers and I said yes and then I was all “Screw you D, I’m using peppers!!”), you can put whatever you want.  This particular blend of herbs, oil, and vinegar is good on nearly anything.  Add mushrooms, olives, sliced carrots, onions, zucchini, or squash.

When I mentioned to Lis on Wednesday that I was going make pasta salad, she gave me her trademarked puppy dog eyes and asked if I would bring her some for lunch.  Of course I said yes.  When I gave it to her, two other coworkers commented on it and I offered to bring it the next day for them too.  I ended up feeding four other people at lunch today.  I have a giant tub of it, so I might as well share with everyone, right?

Lis, me, and Darcy enjoying some pasta salad in the English office. I have pretty much the best friends ever. Obvi. Totes obvi.

Rating: I think this particular blend of veggies, pasta, and dressing is a strong 4 out of 5 glasses of cold pinot grigio.  Obviously you can make it vegetarian by leaving out the pepperoni.

Easy Pasta Salad
Author: Manda
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 20 mins
  • Whatever vegetables you have in the crisper! I used:
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and quartered
  • 6 green onions, chopped, green parts only
  • 1 package pepperoni, cut into strips
  • Crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 lb pasta of your choice
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp white sugar
  1. Cook the pasta.
  2. While the pasta cooks, chop vegetables and combine in a large bowl with cheese and dressing.
  3. Drain the pasta, and run cold water over it to cool it down.
  4. Add pasta to the veggie mix.
  5. Chill over night (or at least a few hours) before serving.
This entry was posted in 4 Wine Glasses, Pasta, Vegetarian. Bookmark the permalink.

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