Tasty Tuesday: National Pasta Day


National Pasta Day is on Sunday, October 17th, so let’s make some pasta salad! What a popular dish – my mother used to make this pasta salad at 99% of her catering events, and when I was catering it was almost as popular. It’s very easy, can be adjusted in quantity and ingredients to make it a side dish, a salad, or a main dish. I’ll share.

It can be made with variations and is best served cold. This recipe is made with a vinaigrette dressing, bought prepared or made from scratch, or made with a mayonnaise dressing or creamy salad dressing.

Whatever you have in your refrigerator or pantry can be added. It is about as diverse as all the people in the world! Hahaha And for vegetarians, it’s always welcome!

It lasts for a long time in the refrigerator, if not eaten completely. So, is great for nibbling, late night, afternoon, whenever! And if you dress it without a cream or milk dressing it is safe for outside events.




1 ½ cups shell macaroni – OR tri color curly pasta

2 cups broccoli flowerets

1 cup cauliflower pieces

1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced or quartered

1 cup pitted ripe olives, sliced or whole

½ cup green onion, chopped

6 oz. can artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed, and chopped

2/3 cup Italian Salad Dressing


The above ingredients were my mother’s.  I don’t always have mushrooms. Or green onions, so I often dice sweet onion, use red and green peppers, diced. OR use green pepper and pimento peppers jarred.  I don’t always have broccoli or cauliflower – I almost always add fresh tomato diced or small grape tomatoes. I have added sliced celery, sliced radishes are good. Even slightly cooked brussels sprouts is good. I like to add diced or sliced summer sausage and/or cheddar cheese – diced.  I even like to add fresh corn off the cob. I’ve pre-cooked/roasted frozen vegetables and let them cool, then added.  Use your imagination and whatever you enjoy. Just remember, the more vegetables you use the less pasta you might need or the more dressing you’ll need.

Mother used a purchased Zesty Italian Salad Dressing or the package that you add oil and water and vinegar – either works great.  I have used an Asian dressing that is tasty.  If you don’t use a mayonnaise-based dressing, it can set out at picnics or events without possibility of spoiling. You can use a mayonnaise dressing – or even a Ranch dressing (or a combination). Your favorite dressing works well.


Combine in a large bowl and cover – then chill in the refrigerator. You can garnish with herbs (even add herbs into the salad more than the dressing), avocado, or seeded tomatoes/grape tomatoes. Just make ahead so it will marry the tastes. DELICIOUS!

Bon Appetite’ with Love,

Granni K

To download this recipe, click here.