Saturday, July 7, 2012

Pretty & Yummy Pasta Salad

I think everyone has probably fixed at least one version of this pasta salad in their lifetime and has tried another half dozen at potlucks over the years.  I've been tweaking the one my mom used to make and came up with this recipe.  The variety of fresh veggies add color and crunch and a whole new dimension of flavors....delicious and nutritious!


Pretty & Yummy Pasta Salad

Ingredients:
1-16 oz pkg of tri-color spiral pasta
1 pkg of pepperoni (any size pepperoni will work....if using large pepperoni like me, cut it in quarters)
4 sticks of mozzarella string cheese, cut in half and then sliced into small pieces (regular block mozzarella cheese works too but I never seem to have that on hand :-)
1 yellow bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 can black olives, sliced
30 grape tomatoes, cut in half and lightly salted
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup to 1 1/2 cups Italian dressing (use whatever kind is your favorite :-)
Garnish:  Fresh spinach leaves, torn or coarsely chopped

Directions:
1.  Cook pasta and drain.  Rinse under cold water. 
2.  In a large bowl, combine first 8 ingredients and toss.
3.  Add 3/4 to 1 cup of dressing and stir to combine. 
4.  Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours to allow all the flavors to combine.
5.  To serve, add fresh spinach and about 1 tsp of dressing to each portion and toss together.

This recipe can be cut in half (usually what I do since there are only two of us) and you can also change it up by adding hard salami instead of the pepperoni and switching out either or both of the bell peppers for green bell peppers.....whatever suites your fancy or happens to be in your refrigerator at the time :-)

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