Monday, January 30, 2012
Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad
We just got back from out of town last night. I realized this morning that I didn't have anything planned for lunch for me and the munchkin, so I decided to go with an old standby - and personal favorite - this pasta salad. I call it "Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad" because its totally customizable and extremely "pantry friendly." You can just see what's in your pantry or fridge and invent a new pasta salad! Just throw in everything but the kitchen sink! ;)
So how does it work? Well, you grab a box of pasta (12-16 ounces). Any pasta that floats your boat - rotini (like I used today in the picture above), penne, macaroni. You could even use a cheese tortellini! Then you grab some veggies. I like to dice up some onion because, well, I put onion in just about everything. ;) I also grabbed some frozen peas and some frozen succatash (corn and lima beans) - about a cup of each. (I usually like to throw in some grape tomatoes, but I didn't have any on hand.)
I boiled the pasta according to package directions. While that was going, I cooked the peas and succastash in the microwave. (You can throw the veggies in with the pasta, but make sure you rinse them in lukewarm water first to take the frost off or they will completely stop your pasta from boiling.) While everything was cooking, I diced up the onion.
Once the pasta and veggies were finished cooking, I poured them into a strainer and rinsed them in cold water to stop the cooking process. Then, in a large bowl, I mixed the pasta, peas, corn, and onions and poured in 1/2 cup of Italian dressing. Once everything was mixed well, I put it into a rubbermaid container and threw it in the fridge. And voila! Lunch will be served when the munchkin awakes! ;)
Again, this pasta is TOTALLY customizable! You could throw in shredded on chopped, cooked chicken, tomatoes, diced or shredded carrots, zucchini. You could also change up the salad dressing that you use. How about a Balsamic Vinaigrette or a Sweet Vidalia Onion? Or what about an Asian dressing? Have fun with it! And, please, if you do make your own "Kitchen Sink Pasta," please leave me a comment and tell me what wonderful things you decided to put in it! :)
This makes a LOT of pasta salad, so I throw it in the fridge and we eat it for lunch for several days. If you don't want that much, you can easily just make 1/2 the box of pasta.