The warm weather is finally here and one of my favorite dishes to make for picnics and barbeques is pasta salad. It's a simple dish that can be made ahead and everyone loves it!
The ingredients are simple and can be found in any grocery store: Tri-color pasta, sliced ham (I bought Ham & Cheese this time because it was on sale), pepperoni, shredded cheese and Kraft Zesty Italian salad dressing (I've tried other kinds and this one is my preferred).
Start by boiling a large pot of water. See, it's already pretty simple.
Add some salt to your water and then add the pasta. Cook it until it's just about done.
Drain the pasta in a colander. See the steam rising from those noodles? Yeah, they're hot so you'll want to run cold water over them to cool them off before using them.
Slice the ham into whatever bite size shapes you prefer. Add them to a large mixing bowl.
Do the same with the pepperoni. I'm a pepperoni fanatic so I can't do this without eating a few pieces.
Add the cooled noodles to the mixing bowl. Look at those noodles. They are just glistening and hollering out for something. What could it be that they want?
Ah, there it is. Some Zesty Italian dressing. You can't hear it but those noodles are cheering. And they're soaking up all that zesty goodness. Add about 3/4 of the bottle (the remainder can be added right before you serve it)
Stir it all together. Resist the temptation to take a big bite because it's not quite finished yet.
Then add the shredded cheese. Cheese is the reason the noodles needed to be cooled. We don't want the cheese to melt on the noodles. Stir this all together.
Move the pasta salad to the lidded dish you're going to store it in and pop it in the fridge. Keep it chilled until you're ready to serve.
Or place some on a place and enjoy it right now! It's so yummy.
I haven't met anyone yet that didn't like it.