Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Italian Pasta Salad


Yea, I said it.  Don't act like it is a bad word.  Many of us have one.   It isn't a bad word unless they invite someone for dinner and don't tell you until 15 minutes before they are due to arrive.  I had just decided to settle down with a peanut butter and honey sandwich and bam, he drops it on me. 

Ever been there?  Yea, me too.  I had a similar (though not with hubby) situation recently.  I needed a small salad of some sort to throw on the table and jumped head first into the pantry to see what I could concoct.  I put away my peanut butter and honey sandwich dreams and was thrown right into reality.   I had a little of this and a little of that.  I found a few things I thought would warrant an Italian style pasta salad.  Why Italian?  Well, because.  That's why.

Now, before you look at this dressing and you say, "OMGOSH, that isn't the correct ratio for an oil and vinegar dressing" just chill for a second. while I explain my dang self.  The pour spot come off of my vinegar, which I was pouring into the bowl, that had the last of my olive oil in it.  So, I ......  Worked.  It.  Out.  Because that is how perfect 10 rolls!  Besides, what REAL cook would ever run out of olive oil?  (hanging my head in shame)

This is a small batch.  OK, well to someone who grew up in a family of 12, this is a small batch, it might be normal for someone who was raised in a regular house with a regular amount of people.  And before you ask, the answer is yes, you can use black olives instead of green, or cherry tomatoes instead of cutting up your own.  Remember I was working on a deadline, with what I already had!
Don't mess with the pasta though.  OK, you could use bow ties, but that is it.  In my head, certain pasta goes with certain dishes and we can't just change that, it is far to deep seeded to just change. 

You will need:

2 - 2 1/2 cups dry elbow macaroni
1 medium tomato, diced
1/2 cup green olives, halved or sliced
1 small onion, minced
1/2 cup roasted bell pepper, finely diced.  (you could use just raw, fresh bell pepper as well)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare pasta as directed.  Make sure to use PLENTY of water, pasta needs room to shake its groove thing, so use plenty!  Drain pasta.  In a large bowl combine, tomato, olives, onion, peppers and pasta.  Set aside. 

In a small bowl or large measuring cup combine oil, vinegar, oregano, sugar and salt and pepper.  Whisk until the mixture is combined and smooth.  Pour over pasta and mix until combined.  Chill at LEAST 2-3 hours.  The longer it sits, the better it gets!

I should mention, you could ALWAYS just use a cup of your favorite Italian salad dressing if you don't want to make the dressing I made!!

Enjoy this easy, and yummy salad, great for picnics (no mayo), bbq's or unexpected dinner company!!

Your "don't sweat it" Chefwannabe


  1. Ever use "Garlic Expressions" salad dressing? It is delicious and would be great on this.

  2. Looks delicious, I am going to try that instead of buying the box kind. It's my daughter's meal. Thank you so much for sharing. :-)