Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different. ~ Katherine Mansfield

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Perfect Pasta Salad

In theory I've always loved pasta salad. A quick meal in the summer. An easy side dish for get-togethers. Something I can make the night before and dinner is already taken care of the next day. In actuality, most pasta salads I've tried have been pretty to look at and nothing for the palate to write home about.

So, I made up my own. You may think it looks just like everybody else's, but the key is in the type of ingredients. And a homemade dressing. I encourage you to make it once, as is, before you stray. Also, I am not responsible for a lesser choice in tortellini, meats or cheeses.

Perfect Pasta Salad
serves 4

1 12 oz bag dried Barilla Cheese and Spinach Tortellini 
4 oz Tillamook Monterey Jack cheese, cubed
4 oz Olli Norcino Salame, cubed (FYI - in Denver you can get this at Marczyk's)
3/4 C fresh or frozen organic peas

1/2 C Quick and Easy Vinaigrette, heavy on the red wine vinegar

Boil pasta according to package directions. Add peas in the final 30 seconds if fresh, 60 seconds if frozen. Pour contents into colander and rinse with cold water. Allow to drain while you prep the vinaigrette.

Mix all four dry ingredients gently in a large bowl. Mix in vinaigrette, salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, preferably overnight. If it's a little dry when you serve it, add a few dashes of red wine vinegar. The acid balances the meat and cheese.

When accompanied by crusty bread and sliced fruit, I can easily feed my family of 4 with lunch leftovers for my husband and I. We drank an excellent three-buck-chuck Shiraz with dinner and found that it paired quite nicely. Enjoy!

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