Italian Pasta Salad Recipe – From the Back of a Box
This Italian Pasta Salad recipe, from Tessa’s Kitchen Tales, first came about from the back of a Good Seasons’ box, but with modifications, developed into my own delicious creation. I like to use the Barilla brand of either penne or fusilli and/or either Celentano’s or Italian Village’s Tortellini, both made by the Rosina company.
The summer heat has been relentless these past few weeks… How about a cool and delicious pasta salad? The decision of what to prepare for dinner has been the question of the day for as long as I can remember. Sometimes, my mother could not think of what to cook or shall I say not cook! When it’s hot, you just don’t feel like doing much of anything. Many nights, dinner was prepared in a skillet on top of the stove—a frittata, breaded chicken cutlets or breakfast for dinner. For a kid, it was a real treat to have pancakes for dinner—yum!
What Do You Feel Like For Dinner?
The back-and-forth banter about what to eat continues in most households today. “What do you feel like eating tonight?” “I don’t care–whatever you want.” “I have pork chops I can make.” “Nah, I don’t feel like eating that.” This can go back and forth for a while ending with, “Well, make a decision and let me know or we can just order pizza!” Many times, we had pizza for dinner. LOL!
As a teenager I didn’t know what the big deal was about… until I was married! The first night, after we returned from our honeymoon, we had dinner at my mother’s house. The next evening, I was puttering around our apartment fixing this, arranging that. My new husband approached me and asked, “shouldn’t you be making dinner?” Startled by what he just asked me, I continued to unpack my suitcase thinking, “Is this guy for real?” LOL!!! That night was our first delivered pizza as a married couple. Since then, I have cooked many of the meals in our family, but since that night back in the late eighties, my husband has become an excellent cook. When I am not up to cooking, he takes over and surprises me with an amazing meal. He has yet to learn how to make sauce, though!
My Turn to Cook … Everyday!
As the children came along, I found myself pondering, “What to make for dinner?” Sound familiar? I was the main cook in the household. I was fortunate to be a stay-at-home mom until my kids started full-day Kindergarten. As they grew and I went out to work full-time, ‘What to cook’ became a real pain in the @$$! This is coming from someone who loves to cook! If I had a nickel for every time I had to stop at the supermarket, after a long day at work, for ingredients to make that evening’s dinner, (you know the saying), I’d be rich. As a working mom, ‘quick and easy’ was on the menu many nights. I usually was always the first one to get home, so the task of dinner was on me.
During my children’s teen years, I came across a pasta salad recipe on the box of Good Season’s Salad Dressing. It looked good and it was something different to serve. I made it—it was a hit! I have continued to make this dish since the late nineties with some adjustments to the recipe. This dish was not only made for dinner, but for office potluck luncheons and family gatherings. It was ‘the dish to bring’ to a barbecue along with a homemade dessert. This pasta salad was even requested by my son’s teacher and my daughter’s friends! When they were in college, they even brought the pasta salad to their Jersey Shore trips ! It’s that good!
Quick, Easy and Delicious
Over the years, I have shared this recipe with family, friends, and co-workers. I am sharing this great pasta salad recipe for you to enjoy when turning on the oven is not an option. Bon Appetit!
This can be a great option as a quick and easy meal on a hot summer day, before we welcome in fall. Pair this with the Italian Sausage and Peppers at your next cookout. You can also refresh yourself with a NY Slush Cannoli Ice or Italian Lemon Ice.
Give this delicious and satisfying Italian Pasta Salad a try, that I’m sure you’ll make it more than once.