Pasta Salad Week – Old Standbys

Yesterday, in my introduction to pasta salad week, I mentioned how we all probably have the “old standby” salad which we bring with us to picnics and BBQs every year. In college my standby pasta salad was nothing more than bowties or fusilli mixed with a bottle of Italian dressing, pepperoni, peppers, onions, and feta. Simple and tasty. But growing up my mom always made one that was pretty unusual. She would pack it up for me to take all sorts of places, from swim meets to school lunches. We’ve re-created her pasta salad a few times since then just tooling it out and guessing; but last week I called my mom in order to get the exact recipe to share with you. One bite brought me back all sorts of memories!

This pasta salad is super simple because it uses store-bought dressings and pre-made spice blends. Now you know that normally these might be no-no’s on TFiMB; but embrace it! McCormick’s “salad supreme” seasoning and some bottled Cesar dressing is what makes this pasta salad so great! It is quick and easy to make and tastes really unique!

The recipe and post are really short today. Not only because this pasta salad is so simple, but because I wanted this to be an interactive post. I want you guys to tell me what YOUR “old standby” pasta salad is! Some of my more active commenters have disappeared lately… where are you guys?!? Come back and tell me your favorite pasta salad that is the first thing you think of when you are asked to bring something to a picnic or BBQ.

 

Pasta Salad Week Menu:

Monday:         Intro and old pasta salad posts
Today:           Old Standbys
Wednesday:   A Healthier Version
Thursday:       Leftover Pasta Salads
Friday:           Playing with colors and shapes

 

All the ingredients. I was going to write on this picture, but everything seemed pretty self explanatory.

Yum. Pepperoni makes pasta salads good.

Is this ACTUALLY Caesar’s dressing, like the real Caesar?

A lot of people like to rinse pasta when it is going into a pasta salad. I say why is it different from making hot pasta? You still want the dressing and the noodles to mix and absorb each other. Try putting hot pasta into your favorite pasta salad and letting it all cool off together. I think you will be pleased with the results.

YA! Like I said before, one bite brought back all the memories of eating this pasta salad as a kid. Try this pasta salad for your next picnic! It tastes good warm right after you make it, but it is even better cold eaten outside on a hot day.

Mom’s Pasta Salad
1 smaller bottle Caesar dressing. (NOT creamy, Newman’s or Ken’s are good options)
1 can diced tomatoes (juice and all)
2 tablespoons or so of “salad supreme” seasoning from McCormick’s
10 to 20 pepperoni depending on their size and your preference
Parmesan cheese
1 lb linguini

Cook pasta in very salted water. Strain pasta and mix all ingredients warm. Allow to cool in fridge.

 

Remember: Half of this post is about you guys. What is your pasta salad standby?