Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pasta Salad

If you live in the south, the flowers are blooming and the sun is shining. We are finally breaking out the spring clothes and shoes. So, you know what that means...time for barbecues and cookouts! And if you have an invitation to one of these social gatherings, you better be prepared with a side dish to bring. That was me yesterday and I made pasta salad for the first time. I didn't realize just how easy it is to make. I based mine off one of Paula Deen's recipes with a tweak here or there. How surprised are you that this is a PD recipe and it doesn't call for any BUTTER.

Bow-Tie Pasta Salad

kosher salt
1 pound bow tie pasta

1 cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing
1/4 cup mayo
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups halved cherry or grape tomatoes
2/3 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/2 diced green bell pepper

1/2 diced red bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated parmesan or grana padano, for topping


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium heat. Add the pasta cook it according to package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, in a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinaigrette, mayonnaise, and sugar.

Drain the pasta well, transfer to a large serving bowl, and let cool. Add the tomatoes, olives, red and green peppers, salt, to taste, and the black pepper. Pour the dressing mix over the salad and toss to combine. Sprinkle with the cheese, toss lightly, and serve.

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