Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fourth of July Pasta Salad

1 bag frozen tri-color tortellini(14-16 ounces)
1/2 box rotini pasta (8 ounces)
1/4 pound small sliced pepperoni (fresh pepperoni from deli)
1 bag cheese crumbles (cheddar and monterey jack)or 1 Cracker Barrel white cheddar block cut into small pieces (8-12 ounces)or 1 block of medium provolone cut into small pieces (I like provolone; Mandy likes cheddar)
3/4 cup chopped sweet onion
1 container of grape or cherry tomatoes
1 bottle of Italian dressing (16 ounces)
Fresh grated parmesan cheese (optional) -- the real cheese, not the powdery stuff

Cook pastas, drain and rinse with cold water. Chop pepperoni randomly into smaller chunks. Cut tomatoes in half and sprinkle tomatoes generously with kosher or sea salt. Put all ingredients except dressing and parmesan in large bowl. Pour about 1/2 bottle of dressing over salad, mix well and refrigerate, covered, for at least one hour. Remove from refrigerate and add more dressing -- you won't need the whole bottle, but you will use a good portion of it -- and stir well. Cover and refrigerate at least one more hour before serving. Stir again before serving and add more dressing if it seems dry. Last, sprinkle fresh grated parmesan over top if desired.

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