Here is a really zesty dressing (since you don't want to use bottled Italian), that we have found to be delicious over chilled pasta, especially tri-color rotini. Just this over pasta chilled is enough for us:Reed’s Own DressingIngredients
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, cut up
1 green onion, including some tender tops, cut up
2 fresh parsley sprigs, cut up
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tblsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp dijon mustardDirections
In blender, combine all ingredients. Shake well before serving. Delicious over salad greens, vegetables, or cold pasta!
Here is a full blown Summer Pasta Salad recipe:Summer Pasta Salad
Serves 4 Ingredients
Olive Oil - 3 tablespoons
Fresh Basil, chopped - 1/3 cup
Tomatoes, chopped - 2 cups
Sea Salt/Fresh Ground Pepper - to taste
Mozzarella, cubed - 1/2 cup
Prosciutto, torn into bite size pieces - 3 thin slices
Roasted Red Pepper, diced - 2 peppers (see note)
Capers - 1 tablespoon (optional)
Farfalla Pasta - 1/2 poundDirections
Put stock pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Combine olive oil, basil, tomatoes, salt, and pepper in a bowl and set aside to allow flavors to blend while you prepare remaining ingredients. Once water has reached a rapid boil, add a handful of salt to flavor the water, then add pasta and cook according to packaging directions. (10 - 12 minutes in most cases)
Once Pasta is cooked, drain, and toss with the tomato mixture. Then fold in prosciutto, roasted red pepper, and capers. Allow pasta to cool slightly before adding mozzarella pieces. Garnish with fresh basil and ground pepper to taste.
Notes: You can kick this up by adding a pinch or two of crushed red pepper flakes but is not necessary if serving with summer bone-in pork chops. Also, Roasted Red Peppers can be found jarred at your grocery store. But if you’re like me and have an overwhelming amount in your garden feel free to follow these instructions for roasting yourself:
Place 2 Red Peppers over open flame/direct high heat either in broiler or on grill for 6 - 8 minutes, turning occasionally. The idea is to blacken the skin of the peppers here so the more burnt looking, the better. Remove from heat source and place in plastic ziplock bag and allow to cool. The steam inside the bag will help loosen the skins. Peel skins and remove seeds… then dice. That simple!
Preparation Time 5 mins
Cooking Time 10 - 15 mins
Now, I LOVE this pasta salad recipe, but it does involve Italian dressing. But you can subsitute that with the dressing of your choice, or just some olive oil and vinegar:Spinach & Tortellini Salad Ingredients
1 (9 ounce) package cheese-filled tortellini
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
(Note from Cristen: Elizabeth used fresh baby spinach when she made this recipe and it was great!)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 (2 ounce) can sliced black olives
1 (16 ounce) bottle Italian-style salad dressing Directions
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until al dente, rinse under cold water and drain.
In a large bowl, combine the tortellini, spinach, cheese, tomatoes and olives. Add enough salad dressing to coat. Toss and season with salt and pepper.
Now this last one is from my DH's aunt. I haven't tried it yet, but it doesn't have black olives or Italian dressing in it! Deli Macaroni SaladIngredients
1 pkg. (16 oz) elbow macaroni
1 1/2 c reduced-calorie mayonnaise
1 container (8 oz) lowfat plain yogurt
1/3 c cider vinegar
2 T sugar
2 T prepared mustard
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 large green pepper, chopped (about 1 1/2 c)
2 stalks celery, sliced (about 1 1/2 c)
1/2 c sliced radishes
1/2 c sliced scallions
1/2 c chopped fresh parsleyDirections
1. Cook pasta as directed on the package, drain. Rinse with cold water and drain.
2. Mix mayonnaise, yogurt, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
3. Add pasta, vegetables, and parsely; toss.
4. Cover and chill about 1 hour.
Hope that helps!