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Twirly Pasta Salad
This is a pasta salad we usually make at our house. Our ingredients may change whenever we make this, but that is the fun about a salad, you get to experiment. What are your favorite things to eat? Beans? Spinach? Add whatever you want or take away whatever you don't want and you've got yourself a new salad recipe.
How long will it take?
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: Approx. 10 minutes
Cooling Time: 15 minutes
Total Time for this recipe: Approximately 30-35 minutes
- 4-5 cups Tri-color spiral pasta
- Pitted, sliced olives
- pickled artichoke hearts
- diced tomatoes
- thinly sliced, diced salami
- Mexican-Style shredded 4-cheese (this is just four different cheeses, pre-shredded and packaged for you, readily available at many grocery stores)
- Italian-Style Dressing (most imortant)
Vegetarian? Can I replace ingredients?
You can most definately replace any of these ingredients with whatever do you would like to. Some people have dietary restrictions or food-allergies, which completely understandable. Replacing the cheese with spinach and bell peppers or onions ar fine. I have not tried replacing any of these ingredients with any dried fruits or other sweets, but the sweetness of a fruit (aside from tomato) plus the savory meat and pasta or vegetables and vinegar, may be complimentary to the dish. You might want to try this.
Vegetarians can definitely replace the salami with plain or seasoned tofu, or you can even marinate the tofu. To add more vegetable, you may want to add some finely chopped mushrooms. The type of vegetables are up to you. As long as you have an earthy flavor with some crunch in the pasta (how I like it), and you are like me, this pasta is perfect for an every day meal.
If you want to make a homemade dressing, I suggest using apple cider vinegar, only because it has more flavor than white vinegar, but wine vinegar does the job too. You can add some finely chopped rosemary, garlic, black pepper, parsely and if you want a little spice- cayenne powder... The options are limitless. I tried this recipe with a honey-mustard dressing and it tastes awesome too. The pasta will taste bland, so when you add ingredients, they take well. No. I have not tried this recipe with pickled cucumbers; I think it might make my mouth pucker too much, but if you want to, I cheer you on!
While you are waiting for the pasta cook in the boiling water, you might want toprepare and chop up the ingredients you will use for your salad. If you chop slowly, then go ahead and start chopping before you throw the pasta into the water. Once you have cooked the pasta and drained it, go ahead and toss your ingredients into the pan however you want. Make sure you stir it all together, and when you are finished, stick the salad into the refridgerator for about 15 minutes, or until it is cool. If you are using the Wish-Bone Italian Dressing in a plastic bottle, give the bottle one generous squeeze of dressing into the pot.
While the pasta is in the refridgerator, the ingredients and dressing will mend their flavors together and keep the pasta moist.
There are so many ways you can mess with a pasta dish, and this is one of them. This is one of our regular ways of cooking this pasta salad. I hope you enjoyed this. Try this recipe before you experiment, though. :) . Remeber that you can add as as much of any ingredient as you want, but if you add more than a cup and a half, it might disdain your food.
Have fun! Bon appetit!