W.O.W. PASTA SALAD

I'd love to say that I invented this recipe all on my own but I think many years ago I saw something similar somewhere. I then modified it to suit my own taste. This recipe is rather free-form so do what you want to with it. The only step I think is essential is to get the dressing on to the pasta while its still hot. This recipe seems to sit well for riding and it is dairy free as well (just check the ingredients on the salad dressing you use).

Here's the recipe for 20 hungry people at a W.O.W. Learn To MTB Clinic. Appetites may vary!

1 kilo of pasta - I often use Delverde 3 colour rotini or ItalPasta 3 colour farfalle

1 red pepper - cubed fine

1 green pepper - cubed fine

1 yellow pepper - cubed fine

seasonal veggies - asparagus, zucchini, etc - cubed fine

1 can olives - pitted and sliced

2 cans mushrooms - I find it difficult to locate "Made in Canada" canned mushrooms. When I can't I'm going to use fresh. I think 1/2 pound will work

1 to 1 1/2 bottles of salad dressing - I like Compliments Zesty Italian and Masters Choice Sundried Tomato and Oregano. Just about any oil and vinegar salad dressing would work.

1 jar Unico Julienne cut sun dried tomatoes

dried herbs for seasoning - oregano, basil or dill and some dried chopped onion

Cook the pasta as per instructions although I don't use any salt in the water. Instead I put 1 to 2 tablespoons of good olive oil in the water while the pasta is cooking. Cook until al dente, and drain and rinse really, really well (you need a proper collander). Place pasta in the container its going to be served in.

Add about 2/3 of the salad dressing (1 bottle) immediately while pasta is still hot. Stir thoroughly.

Add the peppers and seasonal veggies. Stir thoroughly.

Add the jar of sundried tomatoes and the oil they came packed in. Stir thoroughly.

Add the mushrooms and olives.

Add the dried herbs. Stir thoroughly. Add more if necessary. I think I always use some onion flakes. The other herbs depend upon the dressing. For the zesty italian dressing I add basil. For the sundried tomato and oregano dressing I add more oregano. I like dill when there is aspargus in the mix.

Let the whole pasta salad sit on the counter until its room temperature. Stir the whole thing again, taste and add more salad dressing and herbs as desired.

I think one of the other keys to success with this recipe is that it is always made the day before a clinic. By the time it gets to Hilton Falls it has sat overnight and then warmed up to air temperature when its consumed. It probably helps the flavours to soak in more. A grind of fresh pepper and maybe some grated cheese and life is good!

Enjoy!!

Mike, W.O.W.

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