I love pasta salad, so I'm always on the lookout for new and delicious variations. When I came across this one on Mel's Kitchen Cafe, I knew I had to try it. As if I had any doubts, it was great! Paul even likes it, so bonus points there! We've made it a couple times now, and I know I'll be making it much more. We found that we like it better warm (although it is also good cold!), so I try to make it close to when we'll be eating it. I like to bring it for lunch at work too, and then I just stick it in the microwave for a minute. The picture was kind of an after thought, so it's not real fancy. And honestly, this is how we end up eating it a lot of the time...strait out of the mixing bowl! Ha! I also didn't have any fresh basil or pine nuts so those are missing this time, and I usually leave out the onions b/c raw onions don't agree with Paul's stomach most of the time...so I just shake in a little onion powder.
Tri-Color Pasta Salad
Recipe courtesy of Mel's Kitchen Cafe
12 oz. Pkg. Tri-Colored Rotini, cooked and drained
2/3 c Creamy Caesar Dressing
3 whole Roma tomatoes, chopped (or grape halved grape tomatoes)
1 can Black Olives, drained and sliced
1/4 c Red Onion, finely diced
3/4 c Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
6 whole Fresh Basil Leaves, cut into thin strips
4 Tbsp Basil Pesto
2 tsp equal parts Black Pepper, Salt, and Garlic Powder
1 c Pine Nuts, toasted
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.