Posted: June 22, 2011

One of My Faves – Italian Pasta Salad!
by: L.A. O’Neil

Cold pasta salads are one of my favorite things to eat, as well as one of my favorite meals to prepare. If I let myself, I could pound down a giant bowl of this tasty salad in no time – of course, my hips and thighs would be screaming in protest, so I try to keep my servings at an acceptable level. Anyway, it’s easy and with only a few ingredients that you probably have in your ‘fridge, you can whip one up in no time. This week, Kroger’s has the Kroger salad dressings on sale for only $1.25, so if you don’t feel like making an Italian Pasta Salad, you can enjoy this salad by using a ranch or any flavor of dressing! This salad goes a long way, and it tastes better on the second day.

Rotini pasta4 or 5 fresh,
button mushroom,
slicedCheddar cheese, cut into about ½ inch cubes
¼ C. fresh green onions (scallions), tops only, sliced on the bias
Kroger’s Italian Salad Dressing

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and rinse in cold water to stop cooking.Add mushrooms, cheddar cheese and green onions. Toss gently. Add enough Italian dressing sothat the pasta is well coated. Cover and refrigerate for several hours. The pasta will soak up the dressing quite a bit – so, if after the down time in the refrigerator, you need to add a little more Italian dressing, go right ahead. If you prefer to use a penne or a pasta other than rotini, that’s okay, too. Just make sure that when you’re cooking the pasta, you don’t overdo it – it should be ‘al dente,’ which means it should have a slight firmness to the pastawithout tasting starchy or floury.

When I cook, I try to prepare meals that can do double duty – this salad will serve as an entire meal or a side for lunch or dinner. (I feel compelled to confess that I’ve eaten this for breakfast, too – maybe it’s the ‘pizza for breakfast’ kind of thing!) The ingredients are what my family likes – the great thing about this recipe is that you can add just about any fresh veggie and it will be great!

Happy summer cooking!

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