I love summer. The sunshine makes me want to head to a BBQ and enjoy a nice and icy iced tea/lemonade. Ahh. Today I’m going to share with you one of my favorite BBQ sides, Pasta Salad. I love that they are lighter than mayonnaise based salads and can be customized to be exactly how you like them.
I made this Simple Pasta Salad with Sweet Italian Dressing for a work event a couple weeks ago and it was a hit! The hubby and I also enjoyed it for dinner with some sliced grilled chicken on top, a light but filling week night dinner.
Our grocery store sells these cute little nugget shaped pastas and I love them for pasta salad. But if your grocery store doesn’t sell these, use whatever you can find. This time I kept the ingredients simple, but if you like tomatoes, cherry or grape tomatoes would be a good addition or along with fresh basil!
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar or vinegar of your choice
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons honey can also use sugar or maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 16 ounces small shaped pasta
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese small cubed
- 5 ounces mini pepperoni
Combine vinegar, oil, honey, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper in a jar and shake until combined. Add additional salt and pepper if needed.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions for al dente. Drain the pasta and run it under cold water until it cools slightly. Drain the pasta well.
Once the pasta has cooled, in a large bowl combine the pasta with cheese, pepperoni, and coat with the dressing. Refrigerate until cold and ready to serve.
This recipe doesn't make a lot of dressing so if you like your pasta salad drenched in dressing I recommend doubling the dressing recipe. Like I mentioned above, use any small shaped pasta you like.
Dressing adapted from here.