Okay, another family favorite. I used to work at a cute little sandwich shop in Cedar City, UT, called The Pastry Pub. Among many of their dishes I LOVED their pasta salad. It was so simple and so fresh. Each was made to order by tossing feta cheese and vegetables with tri-colored rotini pasta and drizzled with a geek feta dressing with a dash of hazelnut.
So based on that concoction, I came up with my own version, which we have enjoyed many many times with family and friends. For me, there are no exact measurements, the amounts I give are approximate for the food item chopped/sliced. I will try to qunatify, but I never measure. You can add or leave out whatever you want.
(be sure to scroll down to download a printable version)
Mediterranean Pasta Salad
1/2 box pasta*
20 baby carrots, thinly sliced
1/2-3/4 cup Kalamata olives, halved and pitted
1 package cherry tomatoes, halved
1-2 avocados, diced
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1/2 purple onion, chopped
1/2-3/4 cup colored peppers (I mix green, red, yellow, and orange peppers)
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2-1 c Italian parsley, chopped
3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Mediterranean Sundried Tomato & Feta Cheese dressing from All Seasons**
Prepare pasta per box instructions, rinse, and cool. Prepare vegetables as directed, place in large bowl with pasta and cheese. Squirt as much dressing as you'd like on to ingredients. The pasta will absorb some, so don't keep it too dry. I tend to use atleast half a bottle if not a tad more with these approximations for ingredients. Stir together and chill.
* I like Farfalle, can also use rotini or the tri-color rotini. I usually use the Barilla yellow box that is multigrain and protien enriched. Also healthy with whole wheat pasta.
** I never use regular Italian dressing. I try to use a meditereanean/greek dressing or sundried tomato. I am sometomes able to find a low fat/fat free version of sundried tomato, it tastes great and makes the salad virtually guilt free.
I have also included artichoke hearts before. I have thought it would also be tasty to try capers, but I haven't tried those in it yet.