Monday, June 8, 2009

Zesty Pasta Salad Supreme

When I bought the pasta attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer a few years back, I justified its expense to hubby by assuring him that it would pay for itself in no time. "I mean, really, just think of all the money we'll save by not having to buy noodles and pasta!" (I love it when I can convince him into thinking that I might possibly be proficient at these kinds of monetary matters.)

The last time I did the math, I figured out that I only have to make 467 more batches of homemade pasta to warrant the purchase of this product. I know... you're impressed by my frugality and ingenuity. I am too.

Imagine how savvy you'll find me when I eventually blog about how much money I'm saving by raising the chickens to lay the eggs for my homemade pasta! And then when I'm milling my own flour from the comfort of my own living room couch! Yeah, then you'll all think I'm somethin' special indeed! (keeping in mind that we all have our own definition of "special," of

Ok, so my favorite pasta salad started out as a McCormick's Salad Supreme recipe. And since I'm all about giving credit where credit is due, my friend's hubby Chris is the one who originally turned me on to this recipe. I finally made it a point to watch him make it so I could duplicate it myself. It's such a tasty way to incorporate vegetables into your salad, and it's especially great during the summer months when all those cucumbers, zucchini, bell peppers and tomatoes are coming off the garden.

This particular batch of pasta salad has some ingredients that are unique to my usual recipe. I'd purchased some pepperoni to use in my Casatiello bread, so I decided to use the leftovers to spice up this salad a bit. I also had some leftover sharp cheddar cheese from the same Casatiello bread, so that went in there too.

Now let's talk a little bit about tomatoes. And I'm going to get a tad bit hatey here, because I've been suffering from fresh REAL tomato withdrawal for going on a year. I positively hate being without REAL tomatoes during the winter months, don't you? And as God is my witness, I refuse to buy another plastic-tasting tomato this year! I can calm myself and be patient for a few more weeks until mine are ready to pick from the vine. The point here being, I didn't have the heart to put fauxmatoes into this salad. So here's what I did. I used a half a jar of oil-packed sundried tomatoes. Very tasty addition and one to remember for when I want to make this salad in the winter. And to any of you who happen to already have ripe garden tomatoes.... I don't even want to hear about it!

Vegetable Pasta Salad

1 pound pasta, cooked per package directions, rinsed under cold water and drained
5 cups assorted vegetables, chopped into bite-size pieces (I used an English cucumber, a zucchini, a Vidalia onion, and a red bell pepper)
1, 8-oz bottle of zesty Italian salad dressing (I used a light-version)
3 oz of oil-packed sundried tomatoes (this was about a half a jar)
A couple of ounces of pepperoni, cubed and fried until slightly crisp, drained on paper towel
A couple of ounces of sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
1/4 cup McCormick Salad Supreme seasoning
salt and pepper as needed

Combine all of the above into a huge salad bowl. Toss to incorporate all ingredients. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.


Barbara Bakes said...

I love sun dried tomatoes. Great idea to add them to the salad!

Moogie said...

I love how you justify your need for gadgets.

It also works equally well on diamonds. I've convinced Pap that they are a good investment. I have him so well trained that before I retired, he would show up at my place of work with my little gem presents. That way I killed two birds with one stone. My co-irkers would be green with envy and I got a tennis bracelet and diamond earrings.

stephchows said...

There is nothing better then when REAL tomatoes start showing up!! And pairing it with home made pasta, oh you got my heart for sure :)

Sara said...

Hi! Thanks for posting on my blog. :) I'm loving the BBA Challenge too, but I just had to comment here because I just got a pasta maker too (though not the electric kind). Your pasta looks amazing (though I agree with you--I'm DYING for real tomatoes to come in season!)...I may have to try it with my machine. :)

Mags said...

Barbara: They were a great addition to the bread, I thought.

Moogie: LOL.. I like how you think!

Steph: I've got cherry tomatoes that should be ripe in just a few weeks. I CANNOT WAIT!

Sara: Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

HoneyB said...

We make this salad too (I always have the Salad Supreme seasoning blend on hand!). It is really delicious! I don't know I would go to the work of making my own pasta for this. he he. Your so cute.

Your probably going to have "real" tomatoes before I am. I just planted my plants in the planter this last weekend...

P.S I want to be successful with Moogie's way of getting diamonds!

Mags said...

HoneyB... we're going to kidnap Moogie and make her give us all her