I originally shared the following post in 2012 (click here) and because I'm making it today and love it so much, I wanted to share it again with you now:
here for that post).
I still have no precise measurements - it's all a matter of what and how much you like any one thing! (I love cooking this way and that's why my baking doesn't always turn out so well LOL!) Today I added chopped zukes, fresh corn from the cob and diced chicken to what's listed below. You can also use a pre-bottled red wine vinaigrette dressing instead of the one listed below as well.
Don't like the veggies I've used? Switch them for the ones you do! Or use whatever you have on hand. There's so much you can do with a pasta salad to make it a great, healthy meal for a hot day.
A big change I've made to the original recipe is to keep the dressing separate from the pasta salad and toss it with individual bowls vs with the whole thing - the pasta keeps better and longer in the fridge for leftovers!
Salad: (toss well as you add each ingredient)
cold mini pasta bow ties (half box)
chopped green olives
diced red onions
diced peppers (red, orange)
crunched up bacon (12 slices)
halved cherry tomato's
halved small mozz. cheese balls
diced roasted red peppers
a few healthy hand fulls of shredded parm. cheese
Dressing: (Again, use more or less of what you like - if dressing is too bitter because of the vinegar, you can add 1/4-1/2 cup of red wine vinaigrette dressing to make it a bit sweeter)
fresh ground pepper
a generous helping of grated parm. cheese
a couple of cap fulls of balsamic vinegar or white vinegar
a few heaping cap fulls of red wine vinegar with garlic
a cap full of extra virgin olive oil
2 tables spoons spicy brown mustard (use more or less depending on the spicy factor of your mustard)
Wisk until well blended, then pour over individual servings so the leftovers stay fresh (and not soggy). (I save used jam jars & lids just for storing leftover fresh dressings & sauces in the fridge!)