Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What's Cookin?: Garden Pasta Salad

This was another quickie dish for my co-workers pot luck.  I love pasta salad.  I don't love when it's drenched in dressing.  I usually keep a light hand on the dressing but a heavy fist with the vegetable add ins.  I may have gotten a little carried away but I love the variety of textures and colors in this simple pasta salad.  It was also a hit at the party!

Garden Pasta Salad
Serves: 10-12

1 package (16 oz.) tri-colored spiral pasta
2 carrots, peeled and shredded
2 stalks celery, chopped into small pieces
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped into small pieces
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped into small pieces
1 Japanese or English cucumber (seedless), peeled and chopped into small pieces
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 (16 oz.) jar marinated mushrooms, halved (I get mine from Trader Joe's)
2 (6 1/2 oz.) jars marinated artichoke hearts, quartered
1/2 lb. block pepperjack cheese, cut into small cubes
1 (16 oz.) bottle Italian dressing

1) Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to the package instructions for al dente pasta.  Be sure not to overcook.  Drain water and rinse under cold water.

2) Mix all the vegetables in a large bowl.  Add cooled pasta.  Pour 1/2 bottle of Italian dressing over the mixture and mix well.  Add more dressing if the pasta seems dry or to your taste (I typically don't end up using the whole bottle of dressing).  Chill for 1 hour before serving.  Add cheese to the pasta salad just before serving and mix well.


Wendy said...

there's nothing better than a great pasta salad!

~Holly~ said...

Wendy: Pasta is my friend. Add some veggies and it's all good!!