September 5, 2011

Pasta Salad

This is something I make a big batch of that will last us for almost two weeks. Pasta Salad is super easy to pack for lunches and it really carries us through the day. Every time I make this it varies a little bit. I use whatever vegetables are fresh or that I already have, then I choose a meat that sounds good with the combination, usually it's kielbasa, ham or salami. I always add cheese and frequently change up the flavor, mozzarella and feta are always great. Lately I've been adding Cheese Curds which are a Midwestern delicacy. As for dressing that always stays the same, it's delicious. When you cook the pasta add a little olive oil to the water and the water won't boil over. Some people think the olive oil will coat the pasta and the sauce won't stick but with pasta salad I don't think it matters. Check out the recipe below. Let me know if you try it out!


7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil              
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice                 
3 tablespoons whole grain mustard          
2 garlic cloves, minced                  
1 1/2 cups feta cheese (garlic cheese curds are excellent, or any other favorite cheese)           
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel                   
1 cup chopped green onion
1 1/2 cups bell peppers
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup halved olives
1 package of kielbasa sliced (salami, ham and shredded chicken are yummy too)
1 box  penne pasta (I usually use whole wheat)


To make the dressing whisk oil, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, and lemon peel in small bowl. Season dressing with salt and pepper.
Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. I usually add a little olive oil to the water so it doesn’t boil over.  Drain. Rinse pasta with cold water to cool quickly and drain again. Transfer pasta to large bowl. Add tomatoes, bell peppers, cheese, green onions, olives and meat. Pour dressing over and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Click the picture to learn more
 about cheese curds.

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