Monday

My Summer Pasta Salad ~


I love summer cooking, it's easy, it's simple, it's light and the fresh produce is abundant.  And I love good pasta salad, the ingredients are endless.  You can put anything your heart desires in pasta salad and it's great to make on the weekend and keep for a few days in the fridge, for those times when it's just to darn hot to cook.

A couple of tips that I have found in my search, "don't" overcook the pasta.  I even undercook it a bit, the dressing will make the pasta softer by the next day.  Another thing, "don't" overload the dressing.  "Less is better", where the dressing is concerned.   I finally came up with this dish, it's really tasty and can either be a side dish, or a one dish meal. 

My Summer Pasta Salad ~


 3/4 lb of Barilla Cellatani (doubled elbows)
4 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1 whole red pepper, finely chopped
1/2 large red onion, finely chopped
2 ears of fresh steamed corn, shucked
6 slices of bacon, cooked and cut into 1/2 " pieces
1/4 lb. good kalamata (pitted), from the olive bar, halved

For the dressing:
1/2 cup mayo
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 jalapeno pepper, very finely mincd
Mix well and set aside.

Fill a large stock pot with water, bring to a boil and add 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Cook Cellatani for 9 minutes.  If you are using another kind of pasta, just undercook it by 1 minute.  Drain, and rinse with cold water.  Set aside.

In a very large bowl, add red peppers, onion, celery, corn, bacon and black olives.  Pour in pasta and add 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.  Mix to combine.
Add dressing and mix together well.  Allow pasta salad to sit in the refrigerator  for a few hours or overnight.

To serve, mix well and adjust the seasonings.  Also, if pasta appears dry, add a tablespoon of milk or cream.  Do not add any extra mayonnaise or sour cream.

I like to serve it just the way it is, over red leaf lettuce.  Simple, yet delicious.

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