terrific pasta salad?
I'm having some people over for a picnic dinner, serving salmon as a main course (haven't decided how yet, perhaps with balsamic vinegar). I'd like to serve pasta salad as one of a couple side dishes, as there will be several preschoolers there, who, I'm sure, would love some (plain) pasta.
What are your best pasta salad recipes that involve kid-friendly pasta shapes (rotini, ziti, etc, I'd like to avoid spaghetti-shaped noodles). I'm willing to plan my salmon around these recipes!
I just served an orzo salad with my salmon last nite! This time I put in cherry tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, golden raisins, pine nuts, and blue cheese with just a splash of olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Usually I put in sundried tomatoes and their oil, kalamata olives, golden raisins, italian parsley, pine nuts, feta, and the dressing. Either way, it's great.
This isn't kid-friendly, I'd suspect, but someone might like it. I'm not a big fan of most pasta salads all coated in goop, so I came up with this one many years ago. I have been known to put sun-dried tomatoes in it, but I've totally lost my taste for them so I probably wouldn't put them in now.
I take some rotini or other shaped pasta--whatever I've got on hand, usually--and add either red onions or scallions, green peppers, some pepperoni (take the sliced stuff and cut the slices in quarters, or get a whole piece and cut it into whatever size chunks you like), sliced olives, chunks of mozzarella cheese (I've just taken string cheese sticks and cut them up), sliced mushrooms, and whatever else strikes my fancy. Then I toss it with pesto. If I'm on one of my frequent cheese things, I might add some coarsely shredded asiago--but I'd guess a normal person would think that's too much cheese.
I'm afraid I have to agree with CheeseBoy. Plan your pasta dishes around what YOU like and if the kids even sample it, you'll be lucky. I have been making pasta salads out the kazoooooo for months now and my kids will maybe eat one with mayo and celery, and a little sweet pickle. I'd love it if someone would come up with one that was kid friendly!!!
PS..God forbid that I buy one of those pasta salads from the deli section and there's a piece of red pimento in it, for sure my youngest will find it and claim she hates it. She has no clue as to what it taste like but she'll find it for sure.
Forget about any sophistication when it comes to kids and pasta, just pile on any kind of gooey cheese any they'll be happy. As for the adults, a pasta salad with fresh vegetables would fare well, dressed with your favorite dressing. Zucchini ribbons, grape tomatoes, peas, broccoli florets, etc. etc. Kids consider these frisbees, so don't even bother.