Post # 1
I have to make a pasta salad for my niece’s birthday party so I’m curious as to what other people like in theirs. I’m boring and only eat the pasta, cheese, pepperoni and green peppers but I know that a bunch of other stuff should probably go in it since I need to think about everyone else’s tastes and not just mine.
Also, what specific kind of pasta do you find is the best to use? I’ve had spiral, bow-tie, penne and probably at least a few other kinds before so I’m not sure which one to use. I don’t make pasta salad all that often (probably 2-3 over the course of the last 26 years) so I’m kind of a newb.
Post # 3
My favorite is a slightly non-traditional orzo, pine nut, and feta salad. It always gets tons of compliments when I bring it to cookouts and potlucks.
1 lb orzo
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
½ cup olive oil
½ cup toasted pine nuts
1¼ cups crumbled feta (~6 oz)
1 cup thinly sliced scallions
Cook orzo in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water, then drain well.
Whisk together lemon juice, oil, and salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl, then add hot orzo and toss. Cool orzo, then toss with pine nuts, feta, and scallion greens. Season with salt and pepper.
Toast pine nuts in a shallow baking pan in a 350 degree oven until golden, 5-10 minutes.
Makes 8 side-dish servings
Post # 4
How about grating some carrots? That will add a pop of color with the green peppers! And pasta salad always looks pretty with a small spiral pasta shape!
Post # 5
I like using the wheel shaped pasta. Easiest to grab with a fork. My family recipe puts broccoli and olives in but I make mine with just italian dressing, mozzarella, pepperoni, and red peppers.
Post # 6
In addition to the pepperoni, cheese, and green peppers, I usually put olives, onions, and carrots. Some people also add tomotos or celery.
Post # 7
My favorite is greek pasta salad – cherry tomatoes, feta, olives and greek salad dressing.
Post # 8
My favorite pasta salad is actually a sundried tomato tortellini pasta salad which is fabuuulous. I use cheese tortellini from trader joe’s as the base. The sauce is a jar of sundried tomatoes pureed with 2 tbspn of red wine vinegar and enough olive oil to make it sauce-y and not too thick. Extras include halved cherry tomatoes and chunks of buffalo mozzerrella and lots and lots of fresh basil. Salt and pepper to taste (and try not to lick the bowl, but that will be hard bc it is amazing).
Post # 9
Post # 10
Thanks for the replies. They all sound great, especially @CorgiTales‘. That’s my kinda pasta salad! I wonder if my SIL will be peeved if I stray from the traditional route. Hmm… Maybe I’ll have to make two! lol
Post # 11
Never been a fan, personally, but I’ve never had pasta salad in the way any of you ladies have described.
I’ve had italian dressing with olives and onions, and other non-descript items in it that are ok by themselves, but gross in the bowl mixed with the pasta.
Have you ever had tuna pasta salad? I like that. Mix some mayo with pasta, add a can of tuna, some sweet relish, onions, and possibly broccoli or even peas if you like it. If you like cheese, cheddar works.
As for the pasta, I’m a fan of texture in a pasta salad. Spiral & bow tie are good choices for that.
Post # 12
@UpstateCait: Even though it isn’t traditional, most people still like it because it is “safe” flavors. I forgot to mention– when I make it just for me and FI I put in 2 cloves of fresh garlic to puree with the sauce and that is really good… but I don’t do that for groups because fresh garlic is pretty strong and a lot of people in my family don’t like it (weirdos).
Post # 13
@CorgiTales: That sounds amaaaaazing.
Post # 14
1 box Spiral pasta (I like the multi colored)
1 Green pepper
1/2 a Red Onion
Grated Parmesean Cheese (I start off with a cup and add more if wanted)
Italian Dressing (preferrably wishbone once again I start off with a cup and add more to get the consistancy I like. You can also do 3/4 cup italiand dressing and 1/4 cup red wine vinegar to make it more tangy!)
1/4 lb hard salami!
This is the recipie I took from my mom. She likes to add black olives (yuck) and puts fetta cheese on the side for people to add as they want (yuck again!)
Post # 15
I use spiral pasta and add in carrots, red peppers, olives, parmesean cheese, garlic salt, paprika, minced onion, and italian dressing.
Now I want to make some because this post is making me hungry!
Post # 16
I make a quinoa salad instead of traditional pasta
Quinoa, asparagus, orange segments, green onion, yellow and red cherry tomatoes (halved), goat cheese and a citrus vinaigrette.