If you had to pick one essential BBQ side dish, it would have to be pasta salad. Perfect to throw together at a moment’s notice, and even better that you can make it the night before – great when you’re already trying to balance numerous dishes the day of your party. I made this for a recent work function and it was a huge hit. It’s a little different from your typical pasta salad, as the base is made primarily of Caesar dressing and pesto. Add in the olives, tomatoes and fresh basil and it’s almost like an Italian version of a classic pasta salad.
Note – You can definitely make this salad the night before, just be sure to reserve some extra dressing to toss the pasta in just prior to serving.
- 1 - 12 oz. package tri-color rotini pasta, cooked and drained
- 3 roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 can black olives, sliced
- ¼ cups red onion, finely diced
- ¾ cup parmesan cheese
- 6 fresh basil leaves, cut into strips
- 4 tablespoons basil pesto
- ⅔ cup creamy Caesar dressing
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Cook the pasta then coat with Caesar dressing while warm. Add the remaining ingredients and toss until evenly coated.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe