Friday, February 22, 2013

creamy dreamy pasta salad.

This pasta salad has been a family favorite for a few years.  It's a summer staple, but last night I desperately needed a little taste of summer.  

I'm not gonna lie.  Winter is dragging on and on and on and on and on and on and on.  

Forever.



The first thing you're going to need to do is find a helper.  I was lucky enough to drag McKenna into this mess {just kidding, she volunteered}.  She loves chopping.  If you are unable to access a helper, I'm afraid you're just going to have to do the work yourself.  

Chop up half of a green bell pepper.  Then halve some bright, red cherry tomatoes, why don't you.

While you're chopping, get some spiral rotini noodles boiling on the stove.  Cook those things as directed on the box.  I use the whole box-load.



Once the noodle are tender, rinse those bad boys with cold water.  This is a cold salad, not a hot salad.  Hot would be bad.


Crack open a can of kidney beans {I use dark red but I won't be too mad at you if you prefer light red beans}.  Rinse those things too.  Clean beans only, friends.


Here comes the creamy dreamy part.  In a bowl, combine the following:

1/2 cup mayonnaise {I use lowfat olive oil mayo}
1/4 cup ranch dressing {I use Hidden Valley ranch}
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese {make that a heaping 1/4 cup}


Add one tablespoon of cider vinegar {or regular vinegar will do} 
Add 3/4 tablespoon of dried basil {or more to taste}


Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and feel free to give it all a stir.


Stir in the kidney beans.  It's starting to look pretty!


Stir in the bell peppers.  It's even prettier!



Stir in the noodles.  The prettiness is at a whole new level!



Toss in the gorgeous pop-of-red cherry tomatoes and give a gentle stir.  Oh my holy pretty-ness!!!

Now just hide it away in the back of the fridge so you don't have to share with anyone.  It's so good fresh and so good as leftovers!

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