Saturday, June 18, 2011

Italian Cold Pasta Salad

The other day I was trying to think of something for lunch. Pasta salad just popped into my mind (probably because it's so hot out). Normally people make this with a bottle of Italian dressing, but I never buy dressing so that wasn't possible. I would love to use fresh herbs, but my herb garden is lacking slightly at the moment. As soon as I recover from whatever I currently have I plan to get my herbs going again. Anyway, I decided to put together an Italian herb dressing mix with dried herbs and it is now stored in my pantry. Any time that I need Italian dressing, I can pull out the mix and add some vinegar and oil et voila --- Italian dressing. 

By the way, check out the two bowls (the one on the very top and the one on the very bottom). Both came from a store in TN. They are handmade pottery and they are absolutely stunning. You can easily buy them online with a quick search (which I plan to do in the future, shhh, don't tell hehehe). I love all pottery, as you know --- Mexican, Moroccan, Algerian, American --- I don't care. The only thing I would caution people about is to make sure you're not buying anything toxic. Some can be made with lead or other dangerous things. For lead, you can actually buy a lead test online if you're worried. Anyway, just discuss it with the store owner and do a bit of research to make sure. I would not recommend buying old pottery to cook/serve in, I would stick with new. And if you are REALLY unsure, then just use them for decoration, they are stunning to look at.

Italian Dressing Mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
Mix together ingredients, store in an airtight container. The original recipe adds the salt to the mix, but I prefer to add the salt to the dressing.
  1. For the dressing, whisk together 1/8 cup vinegar (I used tarragon vinegar) and 1/3 cup oil (I use grapeseed or avocado oil) and 1 tablespoons of the dry mix and salt/pepper to taste.
Pasta Salad
  • 1/2 lb rotini pasta
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup or so of chopped broccoli
  • Italian Dressing, as seen above (you may not need to use all of it though, just to taste)
  • 1/4 cup or so of Parmesan cheese
  1. Add any veggies you want, any amount you want. Boil the pasta, rinse it off under cold water. Mix everything together, add the dressing, mix and serve.