Summer Florentine Pasta Salad
Pasta salad and summer BBQ’s go hand in hand where I come from. I know you have all had the various grocery store deli counter variety. The mushy pasta. The over sauced, over salted, wilted, who-knows-when-it-was-made kinds. I have rarely been impressed with any of them I have ever tried.
The beauty of pasta salads is this. You can do whatever you want with them. Add in what odds and ends you happen to have on hand. Use combinations of your favorite salad dressings, or mix up your own. They can be as simple or as complicated as you like. If something in a recipe doesn’t suit you, change it, replace it, or just leave it out all-together.
This pasta salad is similar to my Italian pasta salad, but tastes a lot different as a finished product. I use Newman’s Own Parmesan Garlic salad dressing as a base for the sauce, and add in a few tablespoons of sour cream for a little tang.
Start by boiling your favorite noodles. This is a combination of tri-colored pasta, penne, and rotini. I had a few bags to use up. What can I say!
During the last 1-2 minutes of cooking, toss in the broccoli for a quick blanch.
Drain the pasta and broccoli and rinse with cold water.
Take some lightly steamed and fully drained spinach and mix into the pasta/broccoli mixture along with some sliced grape tomatoes, and some freshly grated parmigiano reggiano.
Mix together about a cup of the parmesan garlic dressing with 2 tablespoons of sour cream. Mix in with the pasta. Feel free to use a little more, or a little less of the dressing. Pasta salads lend themselves so well for customizations!
Cover and refrigerate for a few hours to let all the flavors meld together.
- 1 pound pasta
- 1 cup broccoli, chopped
- 3 cups spinach, lightly steamed and squeezed of water
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 cup Newman's Own Parmesan Garlic salad dressing
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 1 cup chopped chicken, optional
- Boil pasta. Add broccoli in for the last minute. Drain and rinse in cold water.
- Add in spinach, tomatoes, and parmesan cheese. Mix well.
- Mix dressing and sour cream and toss pasta and vegetable mixture in it.
- Refrigerate for 1-2 hours, and serve cold. If wanted, add in some cubed chicken.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 242 Total Fat: 9g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 31mg Sodium: 388mg Carbohydrates: 27g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 4g Protein: 15g