So yesterday, while I was taking a much-needed break from cleaning and packing, I was browsing around reading some of my favorite food blogs. When I stopped by Stephanie Cooks I was immediately intrigued by her recipe for Italian Pasta Salad that she had created herself. I happened to have a few of the main ingredients on hand as well as some others I thought might go well together, and that inspired me to create my own pasta salad. Hence the title of this post 🙂 Thanks Stephanie! Btw, I had some Kalamata olives in the fridge that were just begging me to go into this salad, but my husband won’t go near them. *Sigh*
I used to be one of those people that was terrified of deviating from a recipe. And I think that’s perfectly fine for people that are new to cooking. However, as I’ve gotten older and have gained more experience, I’ve realized I don’t need a recipe to tell me what combinations of flavors I like together. I like to think of a recipe as more of a guideline now, not an exact science. Some of the most fun I’ve had in the kitchen is when I just start poking around in the fridge and cupboards to see what I can use to create something with. Once in a while disaster does strike(and then I throw a fit and declare that I’m never cooking again!). But, of course, I always pick myself back up and try again.
The moral of my story is, don’t feel like you have to follow my recipe or Stephanie’s recipe exactly. Just start looking around at what ingredients you have and what flavors you like together, and see where it takes you 🙂
Oh, one last thing. I make my own Italian dressing, and I think it’s super good. I used the last of it up in this pasta salad, but the next time I whip some up I’ll take a picture and post the recipe here for anyone who may be interested.
Inspired Pasta Salad
- 6 oz pasta, your favorite shape
- 3/4 cup chopped broccoli(Stephanie steamed hers, but I preferred to keep it raw)
- 3/4 cup chopped tomato
- 1/4 cup pepperoni, sliced into strips
- 1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
- 1/4 cup Italian dressing, or to taste
- 2-3 Tb Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water until it’s cooled down. In a large mixing bowl combine the pasta with remaining ingredients. Give everything a good stir. Refrigerate a few hours before serving. Enjoy!