Sunday, 19 May 2013

Italian Pasta Salad Picnic Lunch

{To celebrate Summer as part of a sponsored post for Collective Bias, I made this Italian Pasta Salad from ingredients found at the Bulk Barn Canada. #cbias}

Summer is here! And that means it's the season for one of my very favorite summer activities...picnics. Our family loves taking picnic lunches to the park,  beach or outdoor concerts & events, so I created this cool & fresh  Italian pasta salad that is a great travel trooper and will satisfy any appetite on a hot summer day.

The inspiration for this recipe came when I was browsing the aisles of Bulk Barn and I happened to see  some sun-dried tomatoes. When I opened up the bin, they smelled so good that I knew that I had to make something with them.  As I browsed the rest of the aisles, the ingredients for the rest of the salad began to take shape as I picked up some penne pasta, pine nuts, and Italian spice, among lots of other things for upcoming baking projects and Father's Day items.
If you read a few of the recipes that I shared last summer,  you might remember that our family is not a fan of gloppy, runny mayo-based salads. We like salads that hold up well with ingredients that don't become drown in runny dressings, so many of my salad recipes included olive oil, along with other seasonings, as the dressing to keep everything together.  This salad includes not only penne pasta, pine nuts, sun-roasted tomatoes and Italian spice, but also some crunchy vegetables and spicy meat that makes it satisfying for a meal.

Italian Pasta Salad 
{serves 4 main meals or 8 side dishes}

8-10 cups cooked penne pasta, cooled
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
1-1/2 tbsp. Italian seasoning
1-2 cloves minced garlic {optional}
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1/2 diced red onion
4 oz. diced sopressata salami
salt & pepper to taste

1. In large bowl, add cooked penne pasta and olive oil, dijon mustard, Italian spice garlic. Mix until pasta is coated in a light layer of olive oil. This gives it flavor, but also prevents the pasta from sticking.
2. Add pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, diced red & green pepper, onion and salami. Mix until combined. Serve or refrigerate until serving time.
And now we stir it all together. This salad is perfect for a family dinner or a summer potluck.
And because you know how I love pretty, I want to share with you how I made this Italian pasta salad into a lovely little picnic lunch by placing it in a small foil container and adding a little fresh fruit and some small chocolates to make a perfectly packaged lunch for one.
 And then I thought that it needed a pretty tag, so I created this colorful tag to share with you. These packaged picnic lunches would be perfect for a gathering of friends for an outdoor concert, a birthday party or just because you want to make a picnic lunch special.

So, the next time you are looking for a cool & refreshing summer salad that you can put together in under 30 minutes, you may want to give this delicious Italian pasta salad a try!

This post is linked to these parties:
Craft-O-Maniac, Uncommon Designs, Aalderberry Hill, Under The Table & Dreaming, Skip To My Lou, Lil Luna, Gingersnap Crafts, The 36th Avenue, I Gotta Create, StoneGable, Somewhat Simple,Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons, The Frugal Girls, Design, Dining & Diapers, Becoming Martha, Whipperberry, Tatertots and Jello, Cooking With Ruthie, It's Overflowing, I Heart Naptime, I Should Be Mopping The Floor,  Uncommon Designs, Aaldeberry Hill, Skip To My Lou, Cozy Little House, Sugarbee Crafts, Chef-In-Training, Time To Sparkle, Home Stories A To Z, The DIY Dreamer, Clean & Scentsible,  Not Just A Housewife,

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