|"What-cha-got" Pasta Salad
When I was a kid my mom made an amazing tuna pasta salad that we all loved on hot summer evenings - here is a flexible version that allows you to use what you have on hand, or whatever may inspire you that day. Get creative and use lots of fresh ingredients, a cool and healthy supper never tasted so good!
8 oz pasta (penne, farfalle, fusilli, etc.)
8 oz fresh washed greens (spinach, field greens, arrugula, basil, cabbage, lettuces – your choice)
8-10 oz frozen veggies (peas, carrots, mixed – your choice) carrot matchsticks or thin slices lengthwise
Other veggie bites: zucchini or cucumber strips, blanched snow peas or broccoli, tomatoes, olives, artichoke hearts, heart of palm, jicama – even pear slices, orange wedges, pineapple or kiwi fruit)
1 pound cooked meat, seafood, or cheese – sliced or crumbled: smoked or canned salmon, canned or leftover tuna, leftover steak, salami, ham, feta, Swiss cheese, etc.
Dressing of choice: choose a dressing that complements your ingredients; anything from Mayo, to Ranch, Vinaigrettes, or even a fruit based dressing
Boil pasta according to package directions, cool under running water and place in refrigerator.
Choose remaining ingredients as inspires you (or just empty the refrigerator). Drizzle a large mixing bowl with dressing, add all ingredients and toss lightly. If using hot meats, add them to the top of individual dressed salads.
Only toss the salad you intend to eat right away, reserve remainder covered in refrigerator for another meal. Serves about 4. – Chef Michaelangelo (mick) Rosacci, Tony’s Meats & Specialty Foods.