Original Post September 2010: We had a family BBQ over the weekend and with our crazy schedule, I had to make a menu that takes minimal effort. The night before I threw this together and it worked out really well. Instead of trying to come up with a homemade salad dressing, I figured it’s easier to buy the salad dressing and just “jazz” it up a little with fresh basil & garlic.
If there are some ingredients that do not appeal to you, feel free to substitute. Here are some ideas:
– grated parmesan instead of mozzerella
– Minced onion instead of garlic
– Chopped celery
– chopped tomatoes
Have fun with it because that’s what it’s all about…
Easy Italian Pasta Salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Refrigerator: 2 hours
8 ounces pasta
8 ounces Italian ham
1 can artichoke hearts – rinsed and drained
8 ounces roasted red peppers – drained and rinsed
¼ cup pitted calamata olives
1 cup low fat Italian salad dressing
2 cloves garlic – minced
½ cup low fat grated mozzarella cheese
¼ cup fresh basil – chopped
- Bring a large pot of water up to a boil and add pasta. Cook according to package directions then drain and rinse under cold water until the pasta is cool to the touch.
- While the pasta is cooking, chop the ham, artichoke hearts, red peppers and olives and spoon into a large mixing bowl.
- Add pasta, salad dressing, garlic and cheese. Toss all ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Right before serving, chop fresh basil and toss.