Thursday, July 4, 2013

Italian Pasta Salad

Happy Independence Day!  We're home enjoying a quiet 4th and that's the way I like it.  We may watch the kids on our street set off their fireworks and call it good!

I am also a completely boring cook.  If I am lucky enough to find a recipe that my family likes, I will make that dish over and over until everyone slumps over in their chairs and begs me to stop. 

I have been making the same meals for most of the almost 30 years we have been married.  I’m not exaggerating.  Ask anyone in my family (poor things). 

I pin hundreds of recipes on Pinterest and have even tried many of them but lots of times they don’t turn out. And I just hate to waste good ingredients and a lot of time on something that doesn't taste good.  So I go right back to what I know.  Call me loyal.

If you’ve been to my house for dinner, you’ve likely had my homemade pizza.  In the fall you may have received a loaf of my pumpkin bread.  And this pasta salad has made an appearance at potlucks we were invited to going way back.

pastasalad at haveacup
It’s really easy and delicious but it isn’t particularly healthy or loaded with fresh greens.  I use bottled salad dressing and grated parmesan cheese in it (because it combines with the dressing to make a better texture than freshly shredded).  

Start by getting out the big yellow Tupperware bowl you got for a wedding shower gift.  Set out the cutting board (from the same era) to chop your veggies.  Have the glass salad bowl that was a gift from your mother when you first got married handy to serve it in.  Now you’re ready to begin!

Italian Pasta Salad
Printable recipe here

1 lb tri color rotini pasta
1 small can sliced olives
thinly sliced carrots
chopped broccoli
chopped sweet bell peppers
grape tomatoes, quartered
1 bottle Bernsteins Cheese and Garlic Italian Dressing
½ cup parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Rinse in cold water and drain thoroughly.  In a large bowl combine pasta, olives and all the veggies.  Use as much dressing as you like to suit your taste and mix in the parmesan cheese just before serving.  This salad tastes better after it has chilled in the refrigerator for several hours.

**Toss in some banana peppers every once in a while just to completely throw everyone in your family off - they will notice immediately and ask "Are there banana peppers in here?  What is happening to Mom?"

If you want to get the whole 1980's vibe while you make it you could put on “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” or Lionel Richie’s “Hello” (remember music videos that told a story?)  or the Pointer Sisters “Jump”. It’s much more likely that I was listening to Amy Grant singing “Angels” or Benny Hester doing “When God Ran” or the Imperials on “The Trumpet of Jesus”.   I told you this is an OLD recipe!

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