Pasta Salad with Broccoli and Caesar Dressing
Serves 4 to 6
Every now and then you have to try a different pasta salad. In this quick and easy recipe, the pasta is tossed with Caesar dressing. The broccoli and red bell peppers add flavor, color and texture. Frozen broccoli works very well, but you can use fresh florets and add them to the cooking water a little sooner. As noted, you can use bottled Caesar dressing, but it only takes minutes to make you own, as in one of the recipes in the similar and related recipes links. As for the black pepper, I always use fresh ground from a peppermill. However, in this recipe, it is especially important for the Caesar dressing.
- 2 cups uncooked pasta, such as elbows or shells
- 1 cup frozen broccoli florets
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped red bell peppers
- About 1/4 cup Caesar salad dressing, store-bought or homemade (see recipe in the similar and related recipes links)
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup small homemade or store-bought croutons
Cook the pasta in lightly salted boiling water until al dente, adding the broccoli and peppers during the last 3 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking, drain again and let set about 5 minutes to cool slightly. Add just enough dressing to lightly coat the pasta and vegetables, tossing gently to combine. Add the cheese and black pepper; toss again. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Serve at room temperature, adding the croutons just before serving.