Pasta salad has become my new favorite summer side dish. It's perfect to bring to get togethers, everyone likes it and it couldn't be easier to make. However, I never actually tried to make it until I went to a recipe exchange party with my mom. Not being much of a cook, my mom asked a friend for a recipe she could bring and the friend supplied a tortellini salad recipe. The salad had chopped onion, chopped red pepper, olives, artichokes, cheese and Italian dressing mixed with cheese tortellini. It was a hit at the party and I began making it myself with some modifications. I leave out the raw veggies (I'm not a fan) and instead toss in roasted red peppers with the artichokes and olives. Sometimes I also add some meat, like salami chunks.
When Lauren invited us over for dinner on the grill tonight, I offered to whip one of these up. This time, instead of tortellini I used a bag of tri-color veggie pasta (Wacky Mac!) and left out the meat since Lauren was making chicken. I also used to fat free Italian dressing to balance out the yummy chunks of cheese. So simple -and it not only tastes great, it looks pretty too!