I love pasta. It is one of my food vices in life. I think I could eat it everyday if my husband would go for it. One of our favorite pasta dishes in the hotter months is pasta salad. It’s cold and refreshing, full of fresh vegetables. I really like making “Clean out the Kitchen” Pasta Salad because it helps to clean out the pantry and refrigerator at the end of the week in addition to making a great side dish.
I like to make my own dressing with the pasta salad because it just makes it taste that much better. However, if you have an Italian dressing or vinaigrette you need to use in your refrigerator it will work just as well. Cook it up, mix it together, and sprinkle with your choice of seasonings!
“Cleaning out the Kitchen" Pasta Salad
3 c. uncooked pasta (I used 2 c. corkscrew pasta and 1 c. macaroni)
1 ½ c. fresh vegetables, diced (I used 2 celery stalks, 1 large carrot, ½ an onion, and a green pepper)
4 oz. cheddar cheese, diced
3 oz. pepperoni, cut into small chunks
1 t. sea salt
2 t. fresh ground black pepper
1 t. oregano
1 t. Italian seasoning
1 c. Italian vinaigrette (already prepared or using the recipe that follows)
¼ c. Parmesan cheese
1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, making sure it is al dente. Drain and run cool water over the pasta.
3. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before serving.
⅔ c. extra virgin olive oil
⅓ c. red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. oregano
1 T. chopped parsley
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste