Photo by Stephanie
Yes, it is September and pasta salad is usually a summer cookout staple. In most of the country, it is still warm enough to need a simple pasta dish for football tailgates and a late summer get together. This pasta salad was born out of my love of pasta but my distaste of heavy creamy pasta salads. A light balsamic vinaigrette replaces the normal mayonnaise based dressing.
Colorful Veggies And Interesting Pasta
Using an interesting pasta and colorful veggies can really make this dish pop, so consider using a tri color rotini or some of the new mini pastas out there. The mini penne worked well, but I typically use a whole wheat pasta for added nutrition. Toss with a sprinkling of feta throughout for an extra burst of flavor.
To make a complete meal instead of a side, serve with a grilled chicken breast!
Light Vegetable Pasta Salad
Makes several servings
1 lb pasta
1 cup diced carrots
1 medium pepper diced (try a red pepper for color)
1/2 small onion diced
1 small cucumber diced
1 small bunch broccoli diced
1/2 to 1 cup light balsamic vinaigrette
1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese
1. Cook pasta as directed.
2. Meanwhile, dice all vegetables and place in large bowl. After pasta is cooked, rinse with cool water until pasta is cool to the touch. Mix vegetables and pasta in large bowl. Pour 1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette over and mix.
3. Allow to cool in fridge for at least one hour. Sample pasta to determine if more vinaigrette is necessary. Mix all but one tablespoon of Feta throughout pasta and vegetables. Sprinkle reserved Feta on top.
4. Alter the vegetables to your preference by adding tomatoes, radishes or seasonal vegetables such as squash. The more colors the better!
How do you cook your pasta salads?