One of the great things about summer cooking, of course, are all the fresh vegetables for salads of all kinds, including pasta salads. However, in my own experience, there are times when I don't have the time to shop and chop, or I've simply run out of time and need a quick pot luck salad that tastes so good people don't necessarily notice the missing fresh cucumbers that are de riguer in summer pasta salads.
I think of this as one of my tricks or cheats and smile as I simply say "thank you" to the compliments anytime I show up with this dish. All it takes is a few ingredients hanging out in the pantry as my "Oh crap, I forgot I needed to make something for work!" saviors.
Most of the pasta salad recipes I've seen and made call for either bottled Italian or Creamy Italian dressing or a home-made version. My personal quirk is to use a wonderful dressing made here in the Ozarks by Ott's, originally born as a small cafe in Carthage, Missouri on Historic Route 66. The restaurant went out of business but the Mr. Ott began bottling his famous dressing, named appropriately Original Dressing (a red, sweet vinaigrette unlike anything else!) and now bottle more than 34 dressings along with a line of BBQ sauces for Branson, Missouri's Silver Dollar City theme park.
Last Minute Pantry Pasta Salad with Vidalia Onion Dressing
Recipe by Glenna Anderson Muse
- 12 oz (dry) tri-colored Rotini pasta or other pasta shape
- 1 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and quarterred
- 1 14.5 oz jar diced tomatoes with green chilis, drained
- 1 2 oz jar pimentos, drained
- 1 6 oz jar marinated mushrooms, drained and quatered
- 1 4.25 oz can sliced black olives, drained
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- Optional: 2 oz sliced of pepperoni, cut in half (I keep this in the freezer so usually have it on hand)
- 1 cup Ott's Vidalia Onion dressing or Vidalia Onion Dressing of your choice.
1) In large pot, boil pasta to al dente. Drain in colandar and spray with cold water to stop cooking process. Drain well
2) In serving bowl, combine pasta with rest of ingredients and mix well. Chill for 2 hours prior to serving.
Makes 8 cups.
Nutrition per 3/4 cup: Calories: 233; Protein: 7.3; Carbs: 27; Fat: 11.4; Fiber: 3 ; Weight Watchers Points: 6