Sam's Mediterranean Rotini Pasta Salad

Maureen_Hudson avatar
By Maureen Hudson
from Wilmington, NC

One of our local supermarkets had an awesome deal on boxes of pasta and tri-colored rotini was included in their sale. I thought back to my "oh so very poor days" when we would cook a box of pasta, drown it in Italian dressing, and eat it as a meal. When I went looking for a decent Italian dressing to put on it for "old times sakes" I found the Wish Bone Mediterranean Italian dressing and started playing around with different combinations of ingredients until I came up with this recipe. This recipe is quick, easy, and quite tasty as written but can also be changed up to suit your taste.

VIDEO PLAYER
serves 8
prep time 20 Min
cook time 12 Min
method Stove Top

Ingredients

  •   12 oz
    tri-color rotini pasta
  •   1 c
    mayonnaise
  •   1/2 c
    mediterranean italian dressing (or greek dressing)
  •   1/2 tsp
    sea salt (optional)
  •   1/4 tsp
    black pepper
  •   1/2 c
    crushed caesar croutons
  •   3/4 c
    kalamata (greek) olives sliced
  •   4 oz
    feta cheese crumbled
  •   1/4 c
    onion (red or sweet), diced (optional)
  •   1/4 c
    red bell pepper, diced (optional)

How To Make

  • 1
    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.
  • 2
    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.
  • 3
    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.
  • 4
    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.
  • 5
    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.
  • 6
    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.

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