I am not a fan of Italian dressing style pasta salad like the kind you can buy in a box from Kraft. Blech. I do however like a sweet tasting one.
Below are two different versions of a Sweet Pasta Salad.The first is one that I have been making for years - often to take to funeral dinners and to cookouts.. It isn't horribly healthy as it has a boatload of sugar in it. But if you don't mind some sugar it is delicious. The second one is healthier and full of strawberry goodness.
Twisty Pasta Salad
Tri-colored pasta makes this a colorful salad, perfect for potlucks or family cookouts.
1 package (16 ounce) tricolor spiral pasta
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 can olives
1/2 bottle of Italian Dressing
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. vinegar
1 Cup water
1 tsp. salt
- Cook pasta according to package directions:(be sure to use salted water) drain and rinse with cold water.
- Place in a large serving bowl.
- Add the onion , tomato, cucumber, green pepper and parsley: set aside.
- In a saucepan, combine the dressing ingredients.
- Cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes or until sugar is dissolved.
- Pour over salad and toss to coat.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight hours so the flavors can marry.
This one is a bit healthier and absolutely delicious. It also makes a bunch.
Strawberry Pasta Salad
This is a good cold side dish for a picnic or family dinner. You can also bring it in containers to a party or cover dish dinner and mix it at the last minute.
3 cups uncooked penne pasta
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (you can use coconut cream if you want)
1/3 cup toasted flaked coconut
4 cups chopped or torn salad greens
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts (just put in a pan over low heat and stir until toasted)
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries, separated
1 teaspoon oil (I use olive oil)
- Cook pasta according to package directions
- While the pasta is cooking make the dressing by combining the cream, honey, vanilla and 1/2 cup strawberries in a blender, cover and blend until smooth and slightly thickened, about 30 seconds.
- Drain the pasta and rinse in cold water.
- Place the pasta in a large bowl and add oil and toss to coat.
- Add coconut and the remaining strawberries
- Toss gently
- Place the greens in a serving bowl and top with pasta mixture
- Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with walnuts
Two for Tuesday is a Blog Hop sponsored by these 4 wonderful blogs:
Alex @ amoderatelife.com (the carnival's creator)
Beth Stedman @ bethstedman.com
Heather @ girlichef.blogspot.com
Michelle @ Healthfoodlover.com
I am also linking this to Balancing Beauty and Bedlams Tasty Tuesday.