Thursday, August 10, 2006

Bumper Stickers & Pasta Salad

Hmmm - it's kind of a reach to combine those two isn't it? But hey - I got my Sheep & Cats for Peace bumper sticker today & put it on my car! We'll see what kind of a response I get from my "R" friends...

MY FAVORITE PASTA SALAD -

When I sold Pampered Chef products, one of my favorite dishes to demonstrate was called "Confetti Pasta Salad" It used a lot of high end products (hopefully selling alot of them in the process) and it was a quick & easy. It has chopped vegetables & pasta, and is dressed with Italian dressing. As a consultant, we weren't allowed to eat at the parties - the food was for our host's guests. But this salad would always look & smell so good that I'd have to stop at Haggen on the way home to buy the ingredients so I could make one for myself. And I mean for "myself" because you all know that John doesn't like garlicy things.

Over time, I added & changed the recipe and came up with this version, which I call:

Greek Confetti Pasta Salad (serves 8 - 10, great for potlucks)

8 – 12 oz package of tri-colored pasta – radiatore (short chunky ruffled pieces of pasta) or fiori (these look like little flowers) or your favorite. Cooked & cooled; Put it in your big yellow Tupperwear bowl (doesn’t everyone have one of these?)

For the dressing combine: ½ cup red wine vinegar
1 cup vegetable oil (I like to mix ½ EVOO & ½ Canola – the EVOO gives it great flavor and the canola keeps it from “setting up” in the fridge)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 T sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp Pampered Chef Italian Herb mix (or you can substitute
½ tsp dried oregano, ¼ tsp dried basil & ¼ tsp onion powder)

Put this all in a pint jar and shake it up. Let it sit and “get happy”

CHOP AND ADD TO THE PASTA: (Often you can find a package of veggies, cleaned and ready for a veggie tray in your deli – this package is just about the right amount of each and you don’t have any leftovers)
1 CUP RAW BROCOLLI FLORETTES
1 CUP RAW CAULIFLOWER FLORETTES
1 CUP BABY CARROTS

Next, add:
¾ cup crumbled Feta Cheese
6 oz Salami – thinly sliced then sliced into “ribbons”
½ can of black olives, sliced in half *use the whole can if you like olives
½ cup grated parmesan cheese

Optional (to taste):
2 GREEN ONIONS W/TOPS, FINELY CHOPPED
½ RED BELL PEPPER, FINELY CHOPPED

Toss the veggies, cheeses, salami, olives & pasta. Shake the dressing vigorously & pour about ½ of the jar over the pasta mixture to start. At this point, I also add between ½ & 1 cup of Best Foods Mayonnaise, it “mellows” out the salad – but dressing a salad is a matter of taste – I generally end up using all of the homemade Italian dressing (you could use your favorite bottled brand if you like) plus the mayo. This salad is best made early in the day so the flavors will meld together. Just before you serve it sprinkle on another ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese over the top.

Hope you enjoy it.

And here's what's happening in the garden today:

The pumpkins are getting BIG!











The bees are very Busy on the sunflowers







AND the Rose of Sharon is starting to bloom - soon it will be hard to get out the back door!



It's going to be a busy weekend - my friend Nancy K. has inspired me to clean up my "horrible" corner of the dining room that houses my computer - wish me luck!

3 comments:

Organic Mum said...

Ohhh what a tease! I love pumpkin! :)

Kathy L. said...

Thanks for sharing the pasta salad recipe! It sounds yummy! :)

cdiane61 said...

Thank you thank you Tina for that wonderful pasta salad with hugh shrimp you brought to our Secret Pal Luncheon. Yummmmmm. Diane