I haven't posted in a bit, so I thought I would put together a little post about a very easy pasta salad. My husband found this recipe in the little newspaper put out by an area lake community. We modified it a bit to suit our tastes and you can do the same.
First, I gathered all my ingredients together. If you are observant, you will see that "one of these things is not like the other" (with apologies to Sesame Street). Do you see it? Yes, there it is - a small handgun right between the carrots, Dijon mustard, and pasta. This is EXTREME COOKING!! We don't want to take the chance that someone is going to bust in the kitchen and hijack dinner. (Actually, the hubby put the gun on the counter when he got home and I didn't see it when I took the photo. If you are a firearms enthusiast, it's a L. W. Seecamp .380.)
If you are brand-loyal or a foodie elitist, you are probably cringing at the Best Choice products shown. Personally, I think their pastas and tomato products are pretty much the same as most of the higher end items, so I have no issue with using them to save a little money.
For this recipe, I used pork steaks. I grilled the steaks the night before and let them sit overnight in the refrigerator before slicing. When writing this post, I realized that I left the green onions out of the recipe this time. It was still delicious! This salad gets better with time, as the dressing soaks into the pasta and marinates the vegetables and meat. This pasta has been suggested as the perfect picnic food. As long as you are able to keep it cold before serving, it should be great.
I like the Tupperware mixer/shaker for making the dressing, as I can use the measurements on the side of the cup for the olive oil and red wine vinegar. Once the other ingredients are added, I just pop in the shaker ring and snap on the top. Then I do my best Carmen Miranda impression and merengue around the kitchen to the music in my head, shaking the heck out of that Tupperware and mixing the dressing by default. For grating the Parmesan cheese, there is nothing like a Microplane grater. I own the box grater, this beauty you see in the photo below, and a smaller one that also does little garnish-thingies.
Roger's Pasta Salad
- 1 (16 oz.) pkg. pasta - preferably rotini, cavatappi, large shell, etc.; cooked according to package directions, rinsed with cold water, and drained
- 1 (28 oz.) can cut tomatoes, drained
- 2 medium carrots, sliced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
- 1/2 green bell pepper, julienned
- 1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper, julienned
- 1/3 cup green onions, sliced
- 1 (2.25 oz.) can ripe black olives, sliced and drained
- 2 pork steaks, beef steaks, chicken breasts, or lamb chops, cooked and sliced thin
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- salt & pepper to taste
- Louisiana Hot Sauce
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 tablespoon Miracle Whip or mayonnaise
- Juice of 1 fresh lime
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Louisiana Hot Sauce
Modified from "Outdoor Cookin' with Otis" (Grand Times on Grand Lake news gazette), 06-25-97.