Friday, May 21, 2010

Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad

In college I was asked to bring pasta salad to a potluck, and immediately began scouring my cookbooks for the perfect recipe. In the end, I picked some ingredients from here, other ingredients from there, until the result was a hodgepodge of tastiness. It's been my go-to pasta salad ever since, and is still popular at gatherings.

Because I usually make this for large groups and also want to save some for us, the recipe below makes A LOT. Feel free to halve or third the amounts. As it is, however, there aren't a bunch of leftover half-cans of olives or corn that you have to figure out something to do with later.

Pasta Salad
  • 3 (12 ounce) packages tri-color rotini
  • 2 (6 ounce) jars marinated artichoke hearts, sliced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black olives, sliced
  • 1 (8 ounce) jar pimento stuffed green olives, sliced
  • 1 (15 ounce) baby corn, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced thin
  • 1 cup broccoli, diced
  • 1 cup cherry or pear tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 pound firm white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup (or more) sliced salami cut into 1/4 inch strips
  • 1 package feta cheese, crumbled (low fat versions are milder)
  • 1 - 1/3 cup powdered Parmesan cheese
  • One bottle Italian dressing of your choice
Cook the pasta until very al dente. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking and cool the pasta. Mix with the remaining ingredients and toss with the dressing. Allow to marinate, stirring a few times, for at least 4 hours or overnight.

All the ingredients are very adjustable, and you can pretty much toss in whatever you have. Other good additions/substitutions are red pepper strips, palm hearts, asparagus tips, baby spinach, cucumbers, red onion, and garbanzo beans. This will keep well in the fridge for 3-4 days, and freezes well. A quick heating in the microwave melts the cheeses, intensifies the flavors and makes a great one-dish meal for lunch or dinner.

The contest to win an Advance Readers Copy of Something Borrowed, Something Bleu will continue until noon Saturday (May 22). Leave a post on any Hearth Cricket post to enter. I'll announce the winner on Monday.



  1. " can pretty much toss in whatever you have"

    Hey, that's how I cook!!

  2. You gave me an idea of what I can do this evening. My hubby cooks on Fridays. Tonight, friends are coming over for cedar-planked salmon and grilled shrimp plus corn-on-the-cob. This salad recipe of yours sounds like a good addition and since it keeps, if hubby doesn't want it, there's always tomorrow.

  3. That's how I cook too! :) And your pasta sounds great.

    I've recently started doing something similar with bulgar wheat - just tossing in chopped onion, celery, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sultanas, grated cheese, boiled egg, olives, watercress, any little leftover bits of things that are lying around. It *always* tastes lovely :)

    (and I'd be very delighted indeed to have a read of one of your books!)