Saturday, April 5, 2008

Italian pasta salad

My mom made pasta salad a lot when I lived at home: some pasta, some peppers, onions, and olives, and some Italian dressing. So (along with pancakes for dinner) it's kind of comfort food to me.

But I got to thinking: could I make it healthier by bulking it up with more veggies?

Yes. Yes I can. And now you can, too.

  • 1 lb rigatoni
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 broccoli crown, cut into bite-sized florets
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • about 15 black olives, sliced
  • 1T capers, chopped
  • 1t red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite Italian salad dressing
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • grated parmesan for dusting
  1. Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. Cook the broccoli in boiling water 1 minute. Drain and rinse with cold water. Add to the pasta.
  3. Add the pepper, tomatoes, broccoli, onion, olives, capers, pepper flakes, black pepper, and salad dressing. Toss until well mixed, then chill for 30 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle the parmesan onto individual portions just before serving.
  • Some salami or bacon would be a tasty addition. I meant to add the leftover bacon from the grilled cheese sandwiches, but I forgot. Oops.
  • Maybe try some pickled cherry peppers instead of the crushed red pepper flakes, for heat with extra flavor.
  • I'll probably use zucchini next time.
  • Mushrooms might be good if you're into that kind of thing.

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