Sam's Mediterranean Rotini Pasta Salad
12 oztri-color rotini pasta
1/2 cmediterranean italian dressing (or greek dressing)
1/2 tspsea salt (optional)
1/4 tspblack pepper
1/2 ccrushed caesar croutons
3/4 ckalamata (greek) olives sliced
4 ozfeta cheese crumbled
1/4 conion (red or sweet), diced (optional)
1/4 cred bell pepper, diced (optional)
How to Make Sam's Mediterranean Rotini Pasta Salad
- Prepare 1 12 ounce box of tri-color Rotini pasta per package directions or to desired firmness. I suggest cooking to al dente. Drain in colander, rinse with cold water and set aside.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the mayonnaise, Mediterranean dressing (I use the Wish Bone brand), the optional sea salt (Feta cheese is salty enough for most people), and black pepper until smooth and creamy. If you can't find the Mediterranean dressing, use an oil based good quality bottled Greek dressing. I have made this using both types of bottled dressings and personally think the Mediterranean Italian gives it a better overall flavor.
- Place 1/2 cup of Caesar croutons in a plastic storage bag and either "beat them up" or use a rolling pin to crush them. I've found it's not worth the effort of pulling out the food processor for this small task. Stir the crushed croutons into the creamy mixture.
- Mix in the drained and cooled pasta, Kalamata olives, and crumbled Feta cheese ensuring that the pasta is well coated. If the mixture looks runny, don't fret; the pasta and crushed croutons will absorb the excess liquid. Adding an additional 1/4 cup of crushed croutons would help as well. I've added as much as 1 full cup and found that the next day leftovers were too dry with that amount added. Just keep in mind- the longer this pasta salad sits in the refrigerator while the flavors are mingling, more of the liquid will be absorbed.
- Stir in the optional diced onion and red peppers. Add additional crumbled Feta cheese to the top for garnish if desired and refrigerate for 1-2 hours prior to serving. If the salad is "too runny", try adding an additional 1/4 to 1/2 cup of crushed croutons.
- Eat and enjoy! I don't like peppers so I don't use them, but I do love the onions for their texture and taste.