Pasta Salad – A Fourth of July must have!

At most family gatherings my pasta salad is usually on the menu.  It is a good side dish for large gatherings and Bbq’s and is a family favorite.  I usually have to make extra as usually people take some to go.  This is one of the many recipes I get asked for all the time.  Of course you can adjust to your liking anything I use, these veggies are what we like.

Gina’s Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

Pasta Salad

This should be done from the night before or early in the morning so it can cool properly.

  • 1 Box of Tri-cololred Rotini
  • 1 pound of Shrimp – Peeled & Deveined
  • 1 bunch of Broccoli – Chopped into small florets
  • Carrot sticks/baby peeled Carrots – Cut into Julienne strips
  • 1 Tin Sliced black olive – Pre-cooled in fridge
  • 1 Tin Mexican Corn Pre-cooled in fridge
  • 1 Red sweet pepper – cut into small dice & Pre-cooled in fridge
  • 1 yellow Sweet pepper – cut into small dice & Pre-cooled in fridge
  • 1/2 Red onion – cut into small dice & Pre-cooled in fridge
  • 1 container of cherry tomatoes – cut in quarters or halves & Pre-cooled in fridge
  • 1 tin of Spam cut into small cubes (optional)
  • Italian salad dressing

Put a large stock pot on to boil.  Salt the water and also put some Mrs Dash seasoning mix in the water. Bring water to a boil and add pasta.  Pasta should cook in total for about 8 Minutes. DO NOT OVER COOK! half way through the pasta cooking add to the water the peeled shrimp, broccoli, & Carrots.  once the pasta and shrimp are cooked strain and rinse with cool/cold water.  TIP: (I add ice to the water to make it cool down quickly)

While the pasta is cooling add in a bowl or metal tray all of the pre cooled items and mix together.  Then once the pasta has cooled enough add pasta mixture to the cooled vegetables mix well.  put 2-4 tbl spoons of Italian dressing so it keeps moist.  Cover with foil and cool 2-4 hours.

Dressing

  • 1 clove of garlic crushed
  • 2 cups of Hellman’s Mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp Mrs Dash
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 2 tbs Italian dressing
  • 3 tbs ketchup
  • 1 bunch chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  • 1 tsp brown mustard
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste

Dressing can be made ahead of time and may be adjusted to taste. Mix into cooled pasta so it coats pasta and veggies evenly.