This recipe was inspired by my old roommate Chelle Leskovistch. Her version had cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, pepperoni, pasta and Italian Dressing. I kept all those elements and added a couple extra veggies, but it's close enough that it definitely reminds me of the lazy days we used to spend lounging around in Riverside Park.
Italian Rainbow Salad
Note: My version is a bit of a non-recipe, so just toss in whatever veggies are fresh and available. You scale it up or down, but it holds up fairly well in the fridge for a couple days and also makes a great dish for a picnic or party. Add more pasta to stretch it for a crowd if cost is a concern. I'm not providing amounts since everything can be adjusted to suit your personal taste.
Pasta (Fusilli's spiral shape holds onto the dressing well)
Cherry tomatoes (halved)
Bell peppers: yellow, orange or red (julienned)
Green beans (cut into inch-long pieces)
Red onion (thinly sliced)
Pepperoni (slices cut into pieces)
Italian salad dressing
1. Set a pot of water to boil while you slice and dice.
2. Add salt when the water comes to a boil and drop in the green beans when it returns to a boil. When done, move them to an ice bath with a slotted spoon to stop the cooking. (Taste one to test doneness before removing the rest.)
3. In the same pot of boiling water, cook the pasta. Drain it and let it cool a bit before adding to the rest of the ingredients so that you don't melt the mozzarella.
4. Add dressing to taste and toss everything together.