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.
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?!
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:
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.