Monday, July 5, 2010

Aunt Marilyn's Tri-Color Pasta Salad

First off, I dont have an Aunt Marilyn, but the blogger who posted this recipe does and since I already have a recipe with the same name on the site, I wanted to be able to tell the difference. Besides Aunt Marilyn's pasta salad is quite possible the best of this variety I have ever had so she deserves a shout out! I messed this salad up big time by confusing a 1/2 teaspoon, spoon for a 1/2 tablespoon, spoon but the end result was still really amazing. I think next time I will meet someplace in the middle with the salt and pepper but keep the added garlic. Nothing beats a 19 month old burping garlic in your face. Such a piggy but she loves her pasta. Oh and I forgot the ridiculously expensive pine nuts I purchased. $8 for 6 ozs and I didnt even use them. I have a sister in law who is allergic to nuts and most times I leave them out but since she is on her honeymoon, it was my chance to nut up my salad....AND I FORGOT THEM! Can you tell I just wasnt with it today. Must have been all the Sweet Tea Vodka and Lemonade I drank the night before---Thank goodness I didnt make this the night before because it would have been gone from a late night after bar binge. If you notice in the picture......there wasnt much left. I forgot to take a picture before dinner and this was all that was left. Since I will be making it again soon, I will re-post with a new picture as soon as I can

Tri Color Pasta Salad from Aunt Marilyn and My Kitchen Cafe

1 12 oz. package Pasta Rotini, tri colored, cooked and drained
3 roma tomatoes, diced
1 can black olives, sliced
¼ cups red onion, finely diced
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
6 fresh basil leaves, cut into strips
4 tablespoons basil pesto
2/3 cup creamy Caesar dressing
2 teaspoons sauté spice (equal parts black pepper, salt, and garlic powder)
½-1 cup toasted pine nuts
EDITED on 6/30/12----I started leaving out the saute mixture because I didnt feel like it needed it. If anything I delete the salt because the parm cheese is salty enough. I wanted to leave a note for myself so when I make it again I dont forget :)
Cook pasta and coat with Caesar dressing while warm. Add the rest of the ingredients (minus the pine nuts) and toss. Top with toasted pine nuts.
VERDICT--PERFECTION!!!!! I was never usually a fan of the salad dressing, colored pasta salad. Kind of boring, kind of blah, nothing really special. But this salad really changes my opinion forever. I am bringing this everyplace I go. Its not usually a dish I would expect anyone to comment on, but there were more then a few raves going on, and I even over seasoned the heck out of it. If you invite me to your house and ask me to bring some BBQ side dish, this is most likely what I will be showing up with from this day forward. Yeah, its that good.

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