Of all the summer salads, pasta salad has always been my very favorite. Growing up, my mother made a delicious simple pasta salad: a pound of pasta, sliced black olives, blanched broccoli and a hearty dose of Italian dressing. After it marinated a bit, we had a fabulous salad that I would eat for any and every meal for days ...
For my sixteenth birthday, my mother made a huge batch of pasta salad and served it at my birthday. My friends gobbled it up ... especially one, who still talks about how great it was. And let me tell you: it really wasn't yesterday.
Geez, writing about that salad, I think I might need to make that this week. It's the perfect weather and time of year for it.
But that classic pasta salad isn't the only way to make a great pasta salad. For instance, orzo - a tiny, rice-shaped pasta - makes a mean salad. I love it in my Sesame Orzo Salad, which has crunchy sugar snap peas and sweet carrots, along with a fabulous sesame flavor. It can also be dressed up in a delicious warm salad like Springtime Orzo.
Another take on pasta salad? Try using tortellini like in Marinated Garden Tortellini Salad. The dressing and tortellini create a fabulous, delicious salad. Or take a different approach with a recipe like Tossed Tortellini Salad, which pairs tortellini with a tossed salad.
Since it's spring, you can also use the season's best produce to create fabulous pasta salads such as Asparagus and Tomato Pasta Salad or Italian Herb Pasta Salad.
Looking for something really different? Check out Southwest Pasta Salad, Citrus-Pasta Salad and Ranch Ham and Pasta Salad. They are all unique, spring-worthy versions of the classic.
Do you love pasta salad? What do you like in it?
Sarah W. Caron (aka scaron) is a food writer, editor and blogger who writes about family-friendly foods and raising a healthy family at Sarah's Cucina Bella.