8/12/11

Caesar Pasta Salad




This is my new favorite super simple go-to salad. It came about when I was making a salad for a missionary farewell a few months ago.  Farewell food is kind of like funeral food. It has to be able to stand up to sitting on a table for a while without wilting or melting. It has to appeal to a large crowd, young and old.  And doubling or tripling the recipe should be easy.  I know your Aunt Edna's gonna love it.





Caesar Pasta Salad
A Bountiful Kitchen
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1 lb pasta, any shape (I like Radiatore) cooked al dente
1 envelope Good Seasons Italian dressing, dry
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halve them if you like
2 large or 6 hearts of Romaine lettuce, washed, chopped
4 cups croutons, home made or store bought
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese*
1/2 to 3/4  (32 oz) bottle Cardinis Original Caesar Dressing*, refrigerated before using if possible

Make ahead- if possible, the night before serving:
Place cooked pasta in a bowl.  Sprinkle with dry Good Seasons Italian dressing and about 1/2 cup of the bottled Cardinis dressing.  Refrigerate overnight.
The next day, before serving:
Place the prepared pasta, grape tomatoes, chopped lettuce, croutons and Parmesan cheese in a large bowl.  Toss with about 1/2 of the bottle of dressing.  Let sit for a few minutes, add additional dressing to taste just before serving.

Tips:
-I purchase the grape tomatoes, Romaine, croutons, Parmesan cheese and Cardini's dressing at Costco.
-*I usually prefer fresh grated Parmesan, but in this case, I like the bagged grated Parmesan. It holds up better and won't "fade" into the salad. A big bag will last forever, and can be frozen, if needed.  Found in the refrigerator section next to other bagged, grated cheese.
-*If you can't find Cardini's, any other name brand of Caesar dressing will work. Also, it's best to refrigerate the salad dressing before adding to the salad. Helps keep the salad cooler.
-If grape or cherry tomatoes aren't available or too expensive, use chopped Roma tomatoes instead.
-Adding chopped or sliced chicken makes this a nice main dish salad.
-This makes a huge salad, enough to serve about 30-40 as a side dish. Depending on how polite your peeps are.

6 comments:

  1. My daughter love pasta salads. I'll be sure and send her your recipe.

    Thank you, ~Ron

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  2. YUM! I love salad! I will be trying this one.

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  3. Pasta in a Caesar salad...Great idea!
    Debbie from tieyourapronstrings.com

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  4. We loved this. A perfect summer meal. The flavors were great. We used cherry tomatoes from the garden. Delicious! We loved the pasta in this. I couldn't find the kind you used at Smith's, so I used Rotini. I really want to find Radiatore now because it looks cool in the salad! I'll check Dick's. Thanks for another great recipe!

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  5. Made this for a party and everyone LOVED it. Makes a ton, so I added rotisserie chicken to the leftovers for a complete meal.

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