Summer has arrived and so have the requests for my pasta salad.
Everyone has that one item that everyone wants you to make for every party, and mine is pasta salad. There are many ways and styles of pasta salad. Mine is light, yet it satisfies that pasta salad craving.
A young bride I know asked me to make pasta salad for her wedding as her present; she wanted 8 gallons. She got it and had some for the next few days also.
I believe that my pasta salad is special because of two things. First, I make my pasta first, sprinkle with garlic powder and put a good splash of vinegar on the noodles and let them set for a while, about an hour to overnight, in zip lock bags.
Next, I only use Wishbone Italian Dressing. Nothing else has the same flavor. My best salads are ones that sit and marinate overnight. Cutting the vegetables as small as you can so you can get many different vegetables in one bite is also important.
I use garden rotini for my pasta; the three colors blend well with the vegetables. The vegetables should be two cups for every one cup of pasta.
Listed in the recipe are my favorites but anything can be used. Try new vegetables like jicama, daikon radish or sugar snap peas.
Bridget McNabb has lived in Wyandotte County for 25 years. She has raised three lovely daughters that have given her some wonderful grandchildren to spoil. She has attended college and obtained three degrees. Her greatest degree, she says, is raising her children in a loving, nurturing home even when times were tough. She currently works at Johnson County Community College in the Hospitality Management Program department. She loves watching the students learn to create great food and the chefs that teach them. With her husband Jay and their dog Bailey, they enjoy visits with friends and family around their large table over a good meal.
Ask the chef: Send in your questions about food, recipes, storage, preparing and other topics to Bridget McNabb at ChefDotte@gmail.com.
Bridget’s Pasta Salad
1 16 oz. package of rotini pasta cooked al dente and cooled
2 tablespoons granulated garlic
½ cup white vinegar
1 of each green pepper, red pepper, yellow pepper
2 bunches of green onions
1 cucumber seeded and diced
3 medium tomatoes seeded and diced
(or 2 pints of cherry tomatoes cut in half)
2 bunches of broccoli cut very small and as much of stem removed as possible
1 can of sliced olives black drained
1 large bottle of Wishbone Italian Dressing
1 6 oz package of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Mix pasta with garlic and vinegar and let sit for at least one hour.
I do this before cutting, then just keep adding to the bowl.
Add all the cut vegetables.
Add dressing to coat all pieces completely.
Let marinate in the refrigerator for an hour or overnight.
Toss in cheese before serving and check to see if additional dressing is needed.
The vinegar and dressing are soaked up by the pasta so they may need more, and the vinegar strength decreases over time.