Pasta salad is truly an art. Trust me, I’ve been to enough barbecues and family reunions to talk. One poorly chosen ingredient, be it in taste or texture, can ruin the whole thing. Too much dressing and your pasta wilts, too little and you’re left with dry, starchy noodles. Obviously, I’m pretty particular about my pasta salad, which is why I’ve never attempted it for a party of my own before.
That was, until this summer, when while planning a Fourth of July themed soiree for my sorority alumnae club, I ran into the problem of finding a side dish to accompany the mini burgers I planned on serving. Pasta salad would be the perfect solution. But could I find a recipe that was elegant enough to match the menu, company and decor? And was I, the admittedly inconsistent chef, up for the task?
As a last minute addition to the party menu (I was already at the grocery store!) I decided to attempt a pasta salad. A quick call to my mom reminded me of the perfectly prepared past salad that my Aunt Tricia brought to this year’s family Easter festivities. Another quick flip of the iPhone and I found myself scribbling this delicious recipe on the back of my grocery list.
Turns out it was a hit. Not only was the pasta salad delicious, the ingredients came together to make a photo worthy dish! Check out the full recipe below.
- One package multi-colored pasta twists (boiled and cooled)
- One half bottle Wishbone Italian dressing (I ended up using a whole bottle, taste till it’s
- One can red kidney beans, drained
- One can marinated artichoke hearts
- One can sliced black olives
- One third package hard salami cut in ribbons (better) or one half package peperoni cut in ribbons
- One half chopped onion
- One chopped green pepper
- One chopped cucumber
- One package cherry tomatoes
- Other options: 3 stalks chopped celery, cold peas, carrots, or zucchini
- Combine all in bowl. Mix well.