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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Perfect Pasta Salad

Mix and match ingredients you have on hand to create a unique and fun pasta salad.

To make your pasta salad a meal, add cooked and cubed chicken, ham, bacon or turkey.

Pasta  - 4 - 5 cups cooked and cooled;  Choose shapes that will hold onto the dressing such as penne, rotini, bow tie, etc.

Vegetables - 3 cups cubed/diced;  Add color, crunch and flavor with thinly sliced radishes, seeded and cubed cucumber, tiny broccoli florettes or grated carrot

Cheese  - 3 - 4 oz shredded;  A sprinkle of Parmesan or Romano can add lots of flavor or use grated cheddar or a 6-cheese Italian blend

Dressing   - 3/4 to 1 cup salad dressing;  Change up the flavor of each salad by choosing a Balsamic Vinegrette, Caesar (creamy or vinaigrette) or even a basic ranch-style dressing

Herbs  -  1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped;  Choose basil, parlsye, cilantro, chives or whatever you have on hand

Extras  -  1 chopped Avocado,  1 cup drained/rinsed Beans,  1/4 cup chopped Olives,  1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped cooked Bacon;   Add chopped hard-boiled eggs, chopped olives, leftover chicken or turkey, or anything else that will tie in with the flavors of your dinner.

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