Paula Dean's Pasta Salad

Your always running into some sort of trouble when you sign up to make something for a ward party that you've never made before. Our ward is having a southern style barbecue tonight and each family has to bring a side dish that can serve 15 people. I signed up to make pasta salad since I had a huge pasta stock pile from my last few couponing trips and decided I had some to spare. I searched the web for a recipe and decided I wasn't going to run into too much trouble making Paula Dean's recipe for a southern style get together. Everything came together without a hitch. I decided to omit the mushrooms though because when I opened the can I was reminded just how much I hate mushrooms. I decided not to put anyone in the ward through that much trauma either. I also made a couple other slight variations but found this to be quite tasty! And then doubling the recipe made it fit perfectly into my new large mixing bowl I got from my online birthday shopping trip to Boscov's!

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1 pound bow tie pasta
1 cup store-bought balsamic vinaigrette dressing
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 (4-ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained
2/3 cup black olives
1/2 diced green bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium heat. Add the pasta cook it according to package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, in a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinaigrette, mayonnaise, black pepper and sugar.

Drain the pasta well, transfer to a large serving bowl, and let cool. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss to combine. Add the tomatoes, olives, green pepper, toss to combine once more, and serve.

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