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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Easy Pasta Salad

  Trashy Pasta Salad 
  Originally uploaded by Foodmomiac.

I never order Ranch dressing at a restaurant. I get Bleu Cheese, or Vinaigrette, or if I'm feeling wild, Thousand Island. At home, I make my own dressing. We never buy the stuff.

Ranch dressing, though, seems to be the most popular dressing in the US. Whenever I'm out to dinner, I hear people ordering it left and right. Most of my friends at work get Ranch on their salads. But I never do. And, were it not for this pasta salad, I'd even venture to say that I hate the stuff. I certainly would never eat it on a typical lettuce salad.

But, for some reason, this pasta salad is different. It makes Ranch taste great. I have no idea why. And, were it not for Jessica Alexander, back in 8th grade, I'd never know how good it was. She brought it in one day for some sort of class party, and went on and on about how fabulous it was. And, she was right. It was damn good. Stupid easy, but good. I used to use Hidden Valley for the salad, but tried Marzetti's tonight. It was an excellent substitute, and the ingredient list was blessedly short and simple.

Pasta Salad
Cooked and cooled pasta (I love using tri-color rotini)
Bell peppers, multi-colored, cut into small dice
Gherkins or small dill pickles, cut into small dice
Small can of diced ripe olives
Ranch dressing

Add veggies and dressing to pasta, toss and serve. I don't have any measurements here - make as much or as little as you like. If you use Hidden Valley, one bottle is enough for a pound of pasta.

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