Tuesday, April 30, 2013

pasta salad recipe.

as you have probably noticed, last night i wrote this post about jamess birthday party, and after posting it i realized that maybe i should take a little more time to talk about the food, because the food was really my primary focus. i mean, why even bother having a party if the food is going to be bad?

since the party was a weenie roast, the majority of the menu was centered around the sausages, buns, condiments, etc., and well, all of that was just store bought (well, i did make some pickle relish, but i forgot to pack it with the other food, so i wont count that), so that part wasnt very exciting. i mean, getting 12 packs of sausage for $16 (it would have been $60 at regular price) was really exciting for me, but for the most part our party prep was mainly just going to the grocery store. 

the one thing i did actually make myself was this pasta salad. its recently become one of my favorite easy dinners, because despite needing a little more advanced notice than some of my other weeknight dinners, its still pretty easy, reasonably healthy, inexpensive, and most importantly, delicious. i normally make this in the morning to eat for dinner that night because of the time required for it to chill, but in cases like jamess party, where i needed it ready earlier in the day, i had to remember to make it the night before, which if you know me, was kind of a difficult thing for me to remember. i just wish alice would eat it, because if she did, wed have this every night. anyways, heres how i made it:

pasta salad
(serves 4+ as a meal, more as a side dish)

1 pound pasta (i used rotini, but penne or macaroni would work too)
1 (12-16 oz) bag of frozen mixed veggies (im a big fan of using the "asian stir fry" type, but you can use whatever veggies you like)
1 large can black olives
1/2 a 16 oz bottle of italian dressing
salt and black pepper to taste
parmesan cheese for garnish (if desired)

start by preparing the pasta according to the package directions, drain and set aside in a large bowl. next steam the veggies according to those package directions, drain and add to the pasta. then drain the olives and thinly slice them (i suppose you could use already sliced olives, but the whole olives are usually cheaper) before adding them to the other ingredients in the bowl. lastly, pour the dressing over the pasta and veggies, adding salt and pepper as desired, and stir until everything is evenly dispersed. now the pasta salad is technically done, however its still hot, so if you want it to taste good, youll need to refrigerate it for a few hours before you serve it, with some extra parmesan cheese on top if you like (but i always forget). 

and thats it! its also really easy to change up the vegetables to suit your tastes, this time i added a can of baby corn that i had gotten on clearance, and next time i think ill try it with the regular mixed veggies and some artichoke hearts. 

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