Well, I made the Pasta Salad....not realizing how much it would make. I ended up only taking half to work and left the rest at home, which was plenty to last us for a few days. The original recipe makes enough to feed an army (which is probably great when you have a large Italian family :) ).
The salad was a total hit! I've even given the recipe to fellow employees. Thank you Michele for sharing such a wonderful recipe.
Fast forward to July 4th....
We had several friends over to celebrate with us and I decided to make the Pasta Salad again. (only this time I learned my lesson and cut the recipe in half. It still made a ton! LOL)
Before I continue, I just want to show you this cute, old platter that my friend brought, filled with veggies....
Look in the center? Recognize that little gal? How many of you got to eat crudite from a Strawberry Shortcake Platter on the 4th of July?
I did make a few very minor, slight changes to Michele's recipe, and I'm sure if you try my version, you'll add or subtract or change a few things yourself. I'm just going to list what I used here.
Do any of you remember that game on Sesame Street? 'One of these things doesn't belong here....one of these things just isn't the same'. Well, there is an item that doesn't really belong...do you know which one it is? I mean, I used it....but its not really a "member"...its sort of an outcast.
1 lb of cooked medium sized pasta (such as faralle, rotelle, cavatappi...or those fun corkscrew ones)
1 large jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained and cut (I've thought of using artichoke bottoms instead but I couldn't find them)
1/2 can garbanzo beans
1/2 jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1/2 each red and yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1 small bunch of broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
1 basket of grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 round of Queso Fresco cheese, crumbled
a few leaves of fresh basil, chopped
Parmesan cheese to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste
Your favorite Italian Dressing
For the pasta, I used corkscrew (riccioli) pasta the first time, and this time I used cappelletti. I think I prefer the corkscrew. But look how cool this stuff is....
Toss the cooked pasta with your Italian Dressing...adding a bit at a time until you're happy. Add the remaining ingredients and toss together. You might find that you need a bit more dressing at this point.
And you know what? It's even better if you make it the night before, giving the pasta a chance to soak up all that dressing. YUM!!!