The easiest pasta salad you'll ever make.
I'm a huge fan of pasta, especially in the winter. When it comes to the summer, however, I want my pasta to be light, tasty, and not so full of mayonnaise that you start to feel sick after too many hours in the sun. Luckily, I've got the perfect, most ridiculously easy pasta salad recipe ever. It's almost embarrassing how easy it is, but people love it! This colorful dish always get compliments when I bring it to cookouts (my mother-in-law even requests it from time to time!).
My pasta salad recipe could easily feed a small army. It's great for cookouts or parties, though I also think it provides the two people in my household with lunch and dinner for three or four days. If you don't want that much, just use one or two boxes of pasta - but keep the veggies in there since you can't go wrong with them!
- Two boxes colored rotini pasta (I use Barilla, but you can use whatever pasta you prefer)
- One box pasta shells
- One large bottle of Italian dressing
- Large head of broccoli
- One green pepper
- One red pepper
- One cucumber
- One container cherry tomatoes (optional)
Put the pasta in boiling water and cook until soft. While that's on the stove, chop up your veggies (I halve the cherry tomatoes) and throw them in your container.
Once you drain your pasta, it's important not to run water over it, so the pasta absorbs more of the dressing. Let it cool for a couple minutes before combining it with your veggies.
Pour about three quarters of your Italian dressing over everything, making sure to mix well. Stick it in the fridge for at least 2 hours to cool. Take it out, stir well, and taste-test. If you think it needs more dressing (and I almost always do), feel free to empty the bottle on top and mix well.
Put it back in the fridge to get nice and cold, then serve it up with the rest of your meal (or in my case, as the main delight)! Easy, cheap, feeds a ton of folks, and the perfect flavor of summer. I think you're going to love it!