Sunday, February 2, 2014

Better Pasta Salad and Music for Sunday (pre-SuperBowl Sunday)

It's Superbowl Sunday! Are you ready for all the activity? I've found some beautiful Native American Flute Music for you to enjoy this morning as you get ready for the day ahead.

Before the game I am hoping to get some snowshoeing activity in with my daughter. But first I'm sure I'll be busy prepping some sort of food for the festivities and the week ahead. One of those is a Pasta Salad. This is a great dish to share with a group of people you are hoping to impress. Better yet, you can bring any leftovers with you to work for a simple lunch. As a teacher, I am always looking for simple but satisfying (and no, a Snickers bar just doesn't cut it despite what the commercials say).

So, if you're looking for a great and easy meal, scroll down to the recipe below. It takes about 30 minutes to make from start to finish. It can be served fresh-made with hint of warm still lingering, or chilled after being set in the fridge.



Better Pasta Salad

8 ounces of BowTie pasta (1/2 of a 16 ounce bag)
6-8 ounces of broccoli (frozen or fresh)
1/4 of a red onion, chopped
1/2 cup cranberry raisins (crasins)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
6 strips of cooked bacon (chopped) OR 1/4 lb deli ham (sliced for sandwiched and then chopped by you)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons sugar (I use pure raw sugar seen in the photo here, but granulated works just as well)

salt/pepper, sprinkled to taste

Cook the pasta until just tender, drain and set in your salad bowl.
Cook the broccoli until just tender as well (don't let it get mushy or too soft). Drain the broccoli and add to the pasta in the bowl.

If you are using bacon, cook that as desired, then cool and chop.
Or, if you are like me and prefer a less fatty, ready made meat, go for the deli ham and chop that up instead. Add the meat to the pasta bowl.
Add the remaining ingredients (onion, almonds, cheeses) add stir together.

In a separate bowl, mix the mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar with spoon until smooth. Pour this over the ingredients in the pasta bowl and mix to distribute throughout the salad.

Top with a bit of fresh ground black pepper and salt to taste.

Chill or serve as is.

Serves about 8 generous portions.

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