Pasta salad is one of my happy-foods. I absolutely love it! It’s so fresh and delicious and perfect for summer time. I’ve made several, but I have to toot my own horn a little- this one was bomb. and I made a ton of it. This is what was in it:
I really wish I had a picture of this zucchini. I can’t believe you can only see a teensy part of it in the picture- but when M went to Israel, she left her garden unharvested which means her zucchini turned into monsters. Seriously. I think she had 3 of them and they were all over 2 feet long and about as big around as….I don’t even know. I’m looking around for something to compare it to, and there is nothing. It was huge. My thigh maybe? Which helps you not at all. If I think of something I’ll letcha know.
So, I cut off the end of the zucchini and cut it into cubes and threw it in a frying pan with some olive oil, garlic powder (cuz I didn’t have any garlic salt), salt, and pepper. I like it with a little crisp on it so it was in there for awhile. While the zucchini was frying, I got the asparagus broiling in the oven with a little olive oil and pepper. (I didn’t cut the asparagus because I got the skinny ones, not the thicker ones.) Again, I like that crispy too. So both of these veggies were cookin for most of the time I was chopping the cold stuff.
Doesn’t this look so yummy?!? See how toasted it is? I love it when it has that char on it. MMmmmm….I’m getting really sad- I have none of this left.
So while these yummy greens are toasting away, I chopped the tomatoes, red onion, and bell pepper into pieces. For cold pasta salad, I cut them a little larger than if I was cooking them in a hot dish. Then I cut the green onions and mix all these in a bowl til everything else is ready. The salami I got was really thick which turned out to be really good- initially I was going to used sliced salami cut into strips, but having a thicker cut worked out because I cut it to the same size as the veggies (maybe a little smaller) and it tasted really good that way.
By now the pasta and hot veggies were done so I drained the pasta and let them both rest/cool for a bit.
Once this is cooled down (or in our case, starving and ready to eat no matter what the temperature is) mix the pasta with the pesto, (my favorite) Red Bell Pepper Italian Dressing, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix it up with all the veggies and enjoy!! Oh it was so good. I can’t even describe.
I decided to just take a picture of what’s left of the monster zucchini (duh) next to a water bottle so you can get an idea of the size of this thing. I cut off about 6 inches for this recipe.
See?! Steroid zucchini. Tasted amazing. 🙂
Here’s the huge bowl this recipe made-
Another thing about my pasta salads- I like a ratio of half veggie to half pasta. That’s just me.
Ohhh it was so good. I might just have to run to the store to replenish my ingredient list….
I also served it with some Sun dried tomato bread from Panera, toasted up of course 🙂
People, it was so good. I can’t say it enough. Let’s just say this, Curtis doesn’t eat leftovers. He ate these leftovers. Yes, this is how I judge my cooking. 😉
Cold Pasta Salad
Half a box of pasta (I use whole grain)
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 large bell peppers, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 bundle green onion, chopped
1 pound asparagus
3 cups zucchini (cut into cubes)
2 cups salami, thickly cut into cubes
1 cup (approximately) pesto
1 cup (approximately) Red Bell Pepper Italian Dressing
salt, pepper, and garlic salt (or powder) to taste
Cook pasta. Broil asparagus until thoroughly cooked. Fry zucchini on the stove until cooked. Cut all other vegetables and meat into similar size pieces. Once the pasta and veggies are done cooking, let them chill in the fridge. Once they are chilled, mix seasonings, dressing, and pesto into the pasta noodles. Then add all vegetables and meat. And eat it ALL. (We didn’t really eat it all- I shared it with Adrienne, I promise! And we had leftovers)
Side note: The earlier you make this, the longer it can chill and really be a cold pasta salad.