Whenever we go to my parents for dinner, we are all assigned something to bring so my Mom doesn't have to do all the cooking. We usually switch off someone bringing rolls and a veggie tray (easiest things to bring) and one person brings a dessert (it is becoming harder and harder to find something that everyone can eat since my BIL was diagnosed with diabetes) and someone else brings a salad or two. My Dad, being the meat and potatoes kind of guy he is, usually doesn't eat the salads we bring...well, he'll take a little bit of everything, but rarely goes back for seconds. One salad he loves to eat, is my pasta salad. He even wishes I would leave him the leftovers. I've made a few variations of this salad, and even had it with artichokes (yummy), but the recipe below is my tried and true. (OK so I can't take all the credit...the basics were shown to me by my SIL "G"....thanks "G"!) Pasta Salad 1 package tri-colored corkscrew pasta (Fusilli) part of a red or green bell pepper, diced sliced olives pepperoni slices or diced red onion, diced Roma tomato, diced 3-4 string cheese sticks, sliced 1 bottle of Cesar Parmesan vinaigrette dressing (just Italian, but the other is better!) salt and pepper to taste Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water. Combine all ingredients, reserving 1/4 bottle of the dressing. Chill overnight. Right before serving add rest of dressing and mix.
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