Pasta Salad Primavera

It’s the ultimate summer side dish — a nice, cool tub of noodles with some crisp vegetables and flavorful cheese, basking in the glory of a light vinaigrette dressing.

And yet, there is so much that can go wrong.

A delicious side dish with any summer meal.

A delicious side dish with any summer meal.

There are probably a thousand articles on how best to make a really good pasta salad, and let me tell you — none of them come from Kraft. We have discovered two key ingredients — a lot of fragrant olive oil and a LOT of seasoning.

To really make this salad ideal, we used a variety of dried pasta — basically what was sitting in the pantry. Use whatever shape you feel is best, but avoid long, stringy pasta and don’t go the elbows-only route either. It’s boring. Once the pasta is done cooking, rinse under cold water immediately and toss the noodles with some of said olive oil — just enough so they’re not sticking together. YUM!

Now then, what to put into your salad? While we used mostly fresh, leftover vegetables, I’m personally a big fan of cooking some of your pasta salad ingredients. Grilled eggplant, steamed broccoli, roasted asparagus — doesn’t that all sound delicious?!

Use whatever you have on hand.

Use whatever you have on hand.

The exception to cooked vegetables, of course, is the mighty tomato, which should be seeded and diced into bite-sized pieces. Cucumber and onions are also good on their own, raw, as well.

But the real secret to our pasta salad is … this:

The seasoning.

The seasoning.

Salad Supreme is where it’s at. If you don’t have this, try and get as many fresh herbs into your salad as possible. And use PLENTY of salt — really, you’ll probably need way more than you think to make your salad tasty.

Finally, we added a bit of Kraft dressing — a light, Caesar vinaigrette to round things out. We think it did the job nicely. Although, if you’re using a good olive oil, a bit of lemon juice and some fresh cheese might be the only acidity you need.

For more pasta salad tips, we highly recommend this article.

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Filed under Dinner, Salads

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