Spring is here and summer is just around the corner. I love making a big cold pasta salad when it’s hot and I have found a trick in making pasta salad that really makes a big yummy difference. The trick is to add a 1/2 cup of dressing to your pasta before you add your mayonnaise or anything else. The bold flavors of the dressing (for this recipe I used Italian Dressing) really soaks into the pasta, giving each bite great flavor.
This recipe is really my basic pasta salad recipe and I change up ingredients to make different salads. Of course the pasta, chicken and mayonnaise are staples for this, but for a Greek pasta salad, I substitute Greek dressing instead of the Italian and add feta, diced cucumbers and black olives. For another change, I use honey mustard dressing, blanched asparagus diced and grapes cut in half. The possibilities are endless and it always turns out so good.
Here is the recipe for the creamy Italian Pasta Salad:
1 LB Penne Pasta- cooked and drained
1/2 Cup Italian dressing
2 1/2 Cups of mayonnaise (I use Helmans)
1/2 Cup of sour cream
1/2 Cup finely diced onions
1 Cup diced tomatoes or cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 1/2 Cups of shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 Tablespoon dill weed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 Tablespoons fresh or dried parsley
After draining the cooked pasta, rinse with cold water until the pasta is cooled. Pat the water off of the pasta with paper towels and toss the Italian dressing with the pasta in a large mixing bowl.
Next, add the mayonnaise and the sour cream to the pasta and toss well. Next, add the dill, salt, pepper and parsley and mix well. After adding the seasonings, add the chicken, onions and cheese (save some cheese to sprinkle on the top) and mix thoroughly. Lastly, add the tomatoes and gently fold them into the salad until they are lightly coated with the creamy mix.
Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
You won’t believe what a difference it makes by adding dressing to the pasta, especially before anything else. Sometimes cold pasta salads lack bold flavor and the dressing really kicks it up a notch.
Have a great rest of the week and check back on Friday for Furniture Feature Friday which I have an incredible project picked out to share with you that I discovered in Blogland! As always, thank you for your sweet comments, emails and notes! I so appreciate you feedback!