Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Cheater Pasta Salad - Sis 1
Last night, we met up for a niece's birthday party. Sis 3 lives a great distance from the rest of us, so she couldn't be there, but the rest of us were, along with one of our brothers. Everyone loved the hamburgers that Sis 2 made and her husband grilled, so hopefully, she'll let us in on her secrets.
Our brother and Sis 2's husband both said that they usually do not care for pasta salads, but that the one I took was very good. My own DH agreed. Several people said they wanted the recipe. The trouble is that I completely cheated, again, but in the interest of helping other people cheat and get away with it, here's what I did.
I had two pasta salad mixes on hand: a Kraft Classic Italian and a Betty Crocker Caesar pasta salad mix. I boiled the pasta from both mixes until they were al dente, then I drained the water and replaced it with ice cold water. Once the pasta was cold, I drained the water again and added:
3 medium tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 can whole olives, drained
1 can marinated artichoke hearts, drained
about a 2-inch stack of sliced pepperoni, cut into bite-sized pieces
I dumped both seasoning packets from the salad mixes into a small bowl and mixed them with a cup of from-a-bottle italian salad dressing. I didn't put the dressing on the salad until I got to the party, because I've found that the longer a pasta salad sits, the more the pasta absorbs the dressing. You might think that the flavor would be stronger in this case, but the opposite is true. So, never add the dressing until the last minute.
I got away with taking a cheater pasta salad to a function, and so can you.