This is such a fun time of the year. The sun is out, the temps are heating up, and there is so much to celebrate. We just recently celebrated a bunch of birthdays, Mother’s Day and we still have a day coming up that I am really excited about, my 5th wedding anniversary! Then we kick off summer officially with Memorial Day and keep on BBQing and potlucking all the way through to Labor Day! So many fun reasons to get together with family and share some great memories.
The best summer potlucks have your family and friends, great weather, and delicious food. What I love about these events is that everyone usually pitches in and brings something good to share. I love to bring salads because they can be made ahead of time and you don’t have to keep them warm. Pasta salad is always a favorite at our functions and I have finally perfected a recipe! There are so many different fun versions but I like having a classic recipe that I know will appeal to everyone, even the picky eaters.
You can definitely customize this recipe however you would like and add different veggies, cheeses, or meats. I usually stick to the basics but it tastes great with black olives, salami, ham, or raw broccoli. Whatever you prefer! This recipe is perfect along side some meat on the grill too, so you don’t need to wait for a potluck to make this!
There is another crucial ingredient when it comes to summer parties. You need drinks of course! Do you remember last summer when Coke released all that cans and bottles with names on them? It was so much fun looking for your name or finding a loved one’s name to share it with them. Well they are releasing even more names again this year and adding in lots of fun words and smileys and things. So yesterday when I walked into Giant Eagle and saw this display I quickly went over, and wouldn’t you know, both mine and my husband’s names were right on top! It was meant to be 🙂
In honor of our anniversary coming up, I grabbed the 20 oz bottles and also an 8 pack of small bottles that had LOVE and #1 on them. I thought they went cutely with the anniversary theme! Grab some of your family’s names this year and bring it along with this pasta salad and you will be all set! The perfect combo for sharing memories!
I hope that you try this Easy Pasta Salad with Balsamic Dressing this summer and that you share great memories with friends!
Classic Pasta Salad with Balsamic Dressing
- 6 oz. whole wheat or high fiber pasta
- 1 red and 1 yellow pepper diced
- 4 oz. cheddar or Colby jack cheese cubed
- half a bag of turkey or regular pepperoni quartered
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
Boil pasta to al dente. Don't overcook because pasta will soften as it sits in the fridge.
Set pasta aside until it cools. Add a little bit of oil to the noodles so that they don't stick while you are waiting for it to cool.
In a medium sized bowl, combine peppers, cheese, and pepperoni. When noodles are cool, add them to the bowl and then mix to combine.
In a separate bowl whisk together the two oils, two vinegars, and the seasonings. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary. Add dressing to the noodle mixture and mix well to coat.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. If serving the next day, uncover half an hour before serving to get to room temperature. Stir and then add more balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil if the noodles have absorbed too much of the dressing. I like my pasta salad with lots of dressing so I always add more!
Visit Giant Eagle’s page HERE
Who are you going to Share a Coke with this summer?? There are so many fun summertime events and so many opportunities to Share Memories with your loved ones! Go HERE to find your name on a Coke and see all available names!!