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Pasta Salad

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I am getting ready for the 4th of July, and in my town it is a pretty big deal.  Everyone gathers on the town green for the fireworks and festivities at dusk.  But, well before dusk a grand celebration takes place including lots of food, drinks, and even decorations. Starting around 4:00 the families start to arrive claiming their “spot” marking them with a flag or a bunch of balloons while they remove all of their goodies from their cars and setting up their

area.   Now, if you are thinking of a huge tailgating party, well you are wrong; there are no burgers or grills at this party.  It is more like a scene from the Great Gatsby; Everything comes out of a picnic basket or cooler, or warmer.  Some have linens on their tables including candelabra’s, and are serving lobster with champagne. Others are dishing out homemade fried chicken, I have even seen quiche being served at last years gathering.  My group consists of 10-12 adults and somewhere around 15 to 20 kids…I know your imagining 30 people sitting in lawn chairs in a huge circle….wrong.  Adults have chairs and kids are on blankets, that’s if they stick around long enough to sit down.  Usually they are gone the minute the car door opens only to return to eat at some point and then they return to blanket hopping from group to group (they must see their friends that they have not seen in 2 weeks since school was in session).  Not to worry they always return just in time for the replenishment of bug spray right  before the fireworks begin.  And before you know it the blankets are covered with bodies ranging in age from 7 to 22,  it just happens.

Their is a lot of coordination that goes into the planning of the “table”  I know I can always count on my Italian husband to bring a tray of meatballs, a tray of baked ziti, a tray of sausage and peppers and more bread than you can imagine.  But…being that Midwestern gal that I am, I gotta have some typical 4th of July pickings!  You guessed it hotdogs, burgers, corn on the cob, baked beans,  pasta salad oh the list goes on. But, not much of those items go with the Italian theme of our table except for maybe one. And by request, I have been bringing it year after year,….it is my pasta salad.

Now this is a big party batch, so for a normal family portion size you must cut ingredients in half.

2lbs Tri-Color Pasta (I prefer fusilli aka rotini or farfalle also know as little bowties)

1 Cup Broccoli (optional)

1 Large Sweet Orange, Red, or Yellow Pepper

1 Medium Red Onion

2 Large Carrots

1 Celery Stalk

1 Cup Cherry or Grape Tomatoes (quartered)

Cook pasta according for approximately 8-10 minutes.  Should be slightly al dente (which means not fully cooked) Drain and let cool.  Dice all veggies in separate bowl except for tomatoes and set aside.

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Let’s make the dressing!

Gather the following ingredients:

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2 oz. White Vinegar

2 oz. Apple Cider Vinegar

2 oz. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 Cup Miracle Whip Salad Dressing (not shown in picture)

2 Teaspoons McCormick Perfect Pinch Salad Supreme Spice Mix

1 Teaspoon Yellow Mustard

1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice

1/2 Teaspoon Crushed Garlic

1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Parsley

Few Pinches of Sea Salt

Few Grinds of Fresh Black Pepper Corns

Place above ingredients in food processer except olive oil. As ingredients are mixing, add olive oil slowly, this process will emulsify the dressing.

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In very large bowl combine pasta, veggies, and dressing together and mix well.  Add tomatoes prior to serving (they tend to get soggy if added prior to serving) I keep them whole in a separate container when taking this dish to a party and add them upon serving

pasta salad

I would love to here how you and your family spend your 4th of July!

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This entry was posted on June 27, 2013 by in Pasta, Salads, Sides.

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