Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Pasta Salad

Happy Independence Day America! Many things come to mind when celebrating the 4th of July...BBQ's, fireworks, getting together with family and friends, red, white and blue. 

As Americans we can't forget the true meaning though, how our forefathers fought for our independence. It was on this day in 1776, that our founders officially declared their separation from the country that ruled over them. Over 200 hundred years later, this day is a symbol of the day long ago when we became true Americans.  

To celebrate, our family will be going to a BBQ at a friends house, and I will be bringing a favorite side dish that I have made numerous times, Pasta Salad. It's a hearty salad with lot's of sausage and fresh Mozzarella cheese.  Yum!

Hope you and your family have a wonderful 4th of July! 
Pasta Salad Recipe
 Makes: 10-12 servings Prep: 40 minutes  Cooking Time: 6 minutes
(Printable Recipe)

1 12 oz package of chicken sausage, precooked and chopped( I use Alfresco brand, sun-dried tomato  flavor)
12 oz container of fresh Mozzarella balls, halved ( something like this)
1/2 LB of Monterrey Jack cheese, cubed
1 6oz can of black olives, halved
14.75 oz jar marinated artichokes, halved
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
16 oz container of cherry tomatoes, halved
2 LBS bite-sized pasta, like penne or rotini
1 jar of your favorite balsamic dressing (I like Wishbone House Italian)

1. Chop up sausage through tomatoes and place in a large bowl. 
2. Cook pasta till el dente (usually between 5-7 minutes). Let cool on baking sheets so the pasta doesn't stick together.
3. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. I sometimes add a little bit of the juice from the artichokes to coat the salad. Let sit in refrigerator until ready to use.
4. Pour dressing over salad right before serving.
Who likes to change it up?

~Use different veggies like cucumbers, snap peas, sun dried tomatoes or cut fresh corn from the cob.
~For a Greek flare, swap out feta cheese and Kalamata olives.
~ Shred some chicken breasts or steak strips instead of sausage.
~Experiment with different dressings like ranch, Blue cheese or just make your own.


Lois said...

I LOVE your new lay out, Kristina!! It's great the way you keep learning how to make your site even better. Way to go!! :)

Meal Planning Made Simple said...

Ha, I don't know how I missed your comment Lois! Thank you my dear. I try to constantly improve the site, make changes to it...change is good right? :)


Related Posts with Thumbnails