Italian Pasta Salad

Let’s face it, I love all pasta.  I love it hot, cold and leftover!

When I think of pasta salad I think of summer. But this Italian Pasta Salad can be served all year long hot as a main dish, cold as a side dish, and packed in the lunchbox the next day for a yummy lunch your kids will love!

pasta salad

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Italian Pasta Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of small elbow pasta(or any type you prefer)
  • 1 packet of Good Seasons Italian Dressing
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 of a red onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of black olives, halved
  • 1/2 cup of Giardeniera Italian mix, drained
  • 7-10 oz pack of mozzarella balls(the little pearl ones)
  • 1/4 cup of pepperoni or salami, chopped into small pieces
  • big bunch of parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Boil a pot of salted water.
  2. Cook pasta per directions on box.
  3. Drain and set aside.
  4. Prepare the dressing per directions on box.
  5. Put the pasta in a large bowl.
  6. Add all the ingredients except for the dressing.
  7. Toss together.  Make sure you added enough salt and pepper.  It needs a good amount.
  8. Drizzle with a little bit of dressing and mix again.
  9. Add enough dressing so that everything is coated and tasty.
  10. Before serving you may need to add more dressing to moisten the pasta.

Enjoy!

Listed below are some of my other favorite salads…

No Romaine, No Problem

Shoepeg Corn Salad

 

 

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BBQ Chicken and Cabbage Steaks

 

By Alexandra Salvatore

Tonight I wanted a healthy and simple dinner.  That’s exactly what this is.  It literally took 5 minutes to prep!

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BBQ Chicken & Cabbage Steaks

Ingredients


Cabbage Steak Ingredients:

  • 1 cabbage
  • EVOO
  • salt and pepper

BBQ Chicken Ingredients:

  • Boneless chicken thighs
  • your favorite BBQ Sauce
  • 2 bunches of chopped scallions

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to Bake at 425 degrees.
  2. Wash and remove the outer leaves of the cabbage.
  3. Cut them into 1 inch steaks.
  4. Brush both sides with olive oil.
  5. Salt and pepper both sides of the cabbage.
  6. Place on a baking sheet.
  7. Cover chicken thighs in BBQ sauce
  8. Top the chicken with chopped scallions.
  9. Place on a separate baking sheet.
  10. Bake both the Cabbage and the chicken for 40 minutes.  It will be perfect!

Enjoy!

 

 

Summer Salad

Summer is almost over in Florida and my sisters are not happy with me because I’m already discussing school. In Long Island they are still in the middle of their best summer weather and they don’t want to even think about moving forward to the fall and winter months. So for all of you that are still enjoying your summer, here’s a summer salad that my sister Ali makes. It really can only be enjoyed during the summer because that’s when the watermelon is perfect!

By Alexandra Salvatore

I wanted to emulate one of my favorite appetizer salads I’ve been going crazy over. In Long Island we wait all winter for warm weather and summer fruits. This salad is on almost every menu on the East end of Long Island and all are done with their own twist.

It contains all of my favorite things – watermelon, feta cheese and a peppery, crunchy green like arugula. You can also use baby spinach for a less bitter green. You can also crumble the feta for a less intense salt/cheese flavor. I use the balsamic glaze pictured. I’ve actually used that glaze for many other things like a simple mozzarella and tomato salad. I would suggest having one in the house. You can get it at Costco or an Italian market. It doesn’t have a close expiration date which is great too. Enjoy this refreshing and savory salad. It would be a great thing to serve as an appetizer or even as a side salad with a fish entree. 🐠🍉🧀

Summer Salad

Ingredients

  • a bag of arugula or baby spinach
  • a seedless watermelon(about 4-6 pieces cut into thick triangles)
  • a block of imported feta(in water), cut into rectangular chunks(can crumble as well)
  • balsamic glaze
  • salt and pepper
  • (Optional) – chopped pistachios to sprinkle over the greens before the feta

Directions

  1. On a large platter lay out the chunks of watermelon.
  2. On top of the watermelon, place a handful or two of arugula or spinach.
  3. Then top it with the chunks of feta cheese.
  4. Drizzle with the balsamic glaze and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

Other Blogs by Ali:

Ali’s Beauty Tips

Mac Eyeshadow

A trip to the Pork Store

Ali’s Favorite’s

Get Swim Suit Ready or NOT!

No Romaine, No Problem

This tomato salad is one that my sister Jen makes a lot. It is refreshing, simple, healthy and delicious. It’s one of those salads that everyone eats with their fingers out of the bowl before it’s even on the table!

 

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Tomato Salad

Ingredients

  • Two containers of grape tomatoes halved
  • 1/4 of a small red onion chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 or 5 basil leaves sliced
  • About half of a block of imported feta
  • A packet of good seasons dressing(will need oil, vinegar and dressing jar)

Directions

  1. Put tomatoes, onion, garlic, and basil in medium bowl.
  2. Break up feta and put in bowl.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Prepare good seasons dressing per directions on packet(you could also just use a simple oil and vinegar dressing. But the good seasons tastes so good with the tomatoes. And you can store any leftover dressing in the fridge and use it on your salads throughout the week.)
  5. Drizzle dressing over the salad and mix.

 

Enjoy!

Other salads that we love…

Summer Salad

Italian Pasta Salad

 

 

Broccoli Rabe

Broccoli Rabe is a veggie my mom frequently makes.  It is packed with nutrition and is delicious!  I don’t make it much because half of my family likes it and half of them don’t.  But I love it when it’s made right.  And my mom makes it perfect.  I love it tossed with pasta, of course.  But you can make it as a side dish to sausages or any meat.

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Broccoli Rabe

Ingredients

  • EVOO
  • crushed red pepper flakes(add as much as you prefer)
  • garlic, 6 cloves peeled and sliced
  • 2 bunches of broccoli rabe(rinse, cut off the bottom of the stems and chop in big chunks)
  • Optional(pasta of your choice)

Directions

  1. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet.
  2. Add crushed red pepper flakes and garlic.
  3. Saute for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the broccoli rabe.
  5. Let it sizzle for a few minutes.  Then add in about 1/2 inch of water to the pan.
  6. Drizzle the top with some olive oil.
  7. Cover and steam on medium heat until soft(about 10-15 minutes)

Serve as a side dish or mix with your favorite pasta(you can add a little pasta water if you want more “juice”) and top with grated cheese!

Enjoy!

Other pasta and veggie dishes that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE!

Bowties with Broccoli

Sunday Dinner

 

Roasted Peppers with Garlic

This recipe was in my first blog back in January.  I think a lot of people missed it and it is a good one!  This would be perfect to serve before a dinner party because even though it’s simple, it looks fancy!

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Roasted peppers with Garlic

Ingredients

  • EVOO
  • 8 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • salt and pepper
  • 10-12 cubanelle peppers also known as banana peppers(If you can’t find them you can use sweet mini bell peppers)
  • a loaf of Italian bread(you can warm it, slice and serve or just slice and serve!)

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees on roast
  2. Wash and pat dry the peppers.
  3. Cut off the tops and spoon the seeds out.
  4. Place the peppers and garlic on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Add a good amount of salt and pepper.  Toss so all the peppers are coated evenly.
  5. Roast for about 15 minutes or until soft and partly brown.(Toss once to keep everything cooking even)
  6. Serve on a platter with a serving spoon along with sliced Italian bread.

Enjoy

 

 

 

 

Mashed Potatoes

 

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Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are heaven. They are creamy and delicious. You can add just a few ingredients and keep them simple or fancy them up. My boys like them indented in the middle with a pool of gravy👌. This past summer my friend Lisa introduced me to truffle salt. I had truffle fries and some other yummy dishes with truffle oil before. But she encouraged me to buy truffle salt. I did! Potatoes is one of those things that tastes delicious with truffle salt. Mashed potatoes seasoned with truffle salt are amazing!

IMG_3544

This a basic recipe for mashed potatoes. Then you can add some other ingredients to your liking.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds of potatoes(gold, red or any potatoes you like best)
  • 1 cup of half and half(you can use milk to keep it lighter or heavy cream to make it creamier)
  • 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter(you can add your own salt to your liking)
  • Salt(highly recommend seasoning with a good truffle salt) and pepper

Directions

  1. Scrub the potatoes good.
  2. Peel and quarter the potatoes.
  3. Cover them in a large pot with salted water.
  4. Bring to a boil and cook until tender when you touch them with a fork.
  5. Drain and put back in the pot.
  6. Meanwhile, heat the butter and the half and half in a small pot until melted.
  7. Pour the butter and half and half over the potatoes. Mash with a potato masher until smooth. Season with enough salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Enjoy.

I’m a potato kind of girl.  If you are looking for something a little different you can try these twice baked potatoes or these smashed potatoes.