It’s barbecue and grilling season, and this always means a good ‘ol get together with family, friends, or neighbors. I consider them all the same, which would be friends. When we have a get together, my default reaction is ‘what can I make’ or better yet, depending on the audience, ‘what should I make’? These are standard questions to bounce off my wife, to only get a feel for what she would want to eat at a party.
For the most part, my wife typically defaults to the standard response of pasta salad. Not sure why. I do know that she does really love my Asian pasta salad, as well as another one I make that has some pretty big flavors, and for the most part, Wisconsin written all over it. So, pasta salad it was for a small get together last week.
The great thing about most pasta salads is that you can be as creative as you want with the ingredients, including spices.
- 1 lb rotini pasta, cooked al dente
- 1/2 block of Wisconsin cheddar cheese, cut into cubes
- 1 head of roasted garlic, lightly mashed
- 1 zucchini, cleaned, and cut into cubes
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into large dices
- 1 orange, organic tomato, pulp removed and diced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup of fresh basil, chopped
- 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
- 1 tbsp creole seasoning
- Johnsonville garlic summer sausage, cubed (optional)
Begin by cooking your pasta. This should only take about seven minutes or so. During this time, prepare the remaining ingredients.
To a large bowl, add in the ingredients, holding back on the salt and pepper. Drain the pasta, run under cold water, and drain again. Shake to remove any excess water.
Add the pasta to the large bowl, and with a large spoon, mix to combine all of the ingredients. Give a generous pinch of salt and pepper, mix, and taste. Season with additional salt or pepper if you feel necessary. Enjoy.
Curious, what is your “go to” pasta salad during grilling season?