Tri Color Pasta Salad

As I’m writing this, it’s raining.  It’s a dreary morning.  The sky is grey, the weather requires a sweater, the “drip drip” sound is heard on the windows.   May brings rain showers, and it’s definitely brought rain this past week.  It seems like this week it was either extra sunny to the point of sunburn, or you needed a umbrella.    Even when I wake up in the morning and check the weather, it would give me high hopes, then afternoon would come and suddenly I’d get a unexpected alert on my phone “Rain is coming”.  By the way, who else sets up weather alerts on their phone? We do it for the garden.  It’s good to know when a heavy storm or high winds are about to roll in, gives us a few minutes to throw on some shoes and get up to the garden to protect it.    With all the rain I needed some cheerful colors in my life, and something that reminds me of picnics in the park or on the roof.  I made pasta salad.   What kind of memories does pasta salad give you?  As a kid pasta salad was always served at family picnics, it was a fork happy staple of my youth.

 The great thing about pasta salad is once you have the basics of pasta, salad dressing, herbs – the vegetables are really up to you.  There needs some type of tomatoes (I prefer halved grape tomatoes).   There needs to be celery chopped up.   What else?  Well that’s up to you.  You can add carrots.  You can add onions.  You can add broccoli.  You can add chopped up cauliflower.  You can can add black olives (yum!).  Mushrooms are always a hit too, especially when they get marinated by the salad dressing.  Peas, corn, sundried tomatoes, chopped up kale – throw in whatever you  like.   To finish it all, you need some type of cheese to sprinkle all over, I like to add some shredded mozzarella.   How do you like your pasta salad?

You can make your pasta salad with a wide variety of noodles, so use what you like.  I’ve been making our pasta salad with tri color rotini pasta.  The extra color  kick of this pasta makes it special in my opinion.   Bow ties and penne pasta are great too!

Finally, pasta salad is a favorite because you can make it advance.  You want it chilled, so all the pasta and vegetables pick up that salad dressing taste.  Plus when it’s a hot summer day, a little chilled pasta salad will bring your spirits up.    You can make this a few hours in advance, or even the day before.  If I have leftovers, I will eat it for a few days after.   The celery stays crunchy, I love that.  

So go ahead, let’s make it feel like summer and make some pasta salad.  



Tri Color Pasta Salad
  1. 12 oz bag of tri color rotini pasta
  2. 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
  3. 3 stalks of celery (chopped up)
  4. 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes (halved)
  5. 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  6. 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  7. 1 tablespoon dried basil
  8. 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  1. Prepare your pasta as directed. Drain.
  2. Put your pasta in a big bowl.
  3. Add your chopped vegetables, salad dressing and dried herbs.
  4. Mix together so everything is coated in salad dressing.
  5. Add in your mozzarella cheese, toss around.
  6. Cover, put in fridge to chill.
  7. Enjoy!
  1. If your pasta salad looks a little dry when it comes out of the fridge, add a tablespoon of salad dressing and mix.
Brooklyn Farm Girl

Pretty vegetables.  I love black olives, but Matthew hates them.  When he eats pasta salad, it’s just a bowl left of black olives.  Then  I steal his bowl and eat them all.

Tri color pasta – it’s a beauty, isn’t it?

This serves up a big fresh bowl of pasta salad.  

This can be a side dish or main dish.  In my opinion, it makes a great dinner!


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