THIS PAST WEEKEND was one of my favorite events of the year: the all-school camping trip. Every summer, the school where I work has a campout for all the students and their families, and it is always a weekend of fun and food. Saturday night is the campout potluck and there are always many delicious treats to choose from. Cooking space over the fire can be a little tough to claim since there are so many chefs needing to cook all at once, so I decided to bring something I could make in advance at home - pasta salad. Here is the recipe for this yummy and simple side dish.
Colorful Campout Pasta Salad
Boil the pasta by package directions minus a minute or two if you are not planning to eat the salad right away - if you are planning to store the salad for the next day, it is best to leave it a litte extra chewy because as it sits in the dressing, it will soften. When the pasta is done, run it under cold water to stop the cooking process and keep it from getting sticky from the starch. Set it aside to drain.
Chop the bell peppers into approximately 1/2" pieces. Mince the red onion finely, and chop the green onion into thin rings. You can add more veggies if you like. Chopped carrot and broccoli go nicely in this salad, too. In a large mixing bowl, combine the pasta and veggies, adding the Italian dressing as you mix. You may want slightly more or less dressing depending on your taste and the type of Italian dressing you chose; some are stronger than others. You can serve the salad right away, but it is best if it sits for at least an hour to let the flavors of the onion and dressing permeate the pasta. Enjoy!