Prep 30 mins
Cook 15 mins
This tantalizing dish is the perfect solution for busy ladies (like me) who need quick, easy dishes to take to summer cook-outs, church dinners, etc. This is my own variation of the hundreds of pasta salads I've tasted over the years. I get raves from every one, especially my Grandfather....thus the name "Poppy's Pasta Salad." The extra care taken in preparing the vegetables (as you'll see) makes this recipe great for people with Diverticulitis.
- 16 ounces tri-color spiral pasta
- 16 ounces deli ham
- 1 large tomatoes
- 1 large cucumbers or 1 large zucchini
- 4 ounces kraft parmesan cheese (Shredded is best)
- 2⁄3 cup kraft Italian dressing
- 1⁄8 cup margarine
- salt & pepper
- Begin by boiling the Rotini in a large pot. I salt the boiling noodles, but you can make your own choice about that if you need salt-reduced recipes. Drain the Rotini well, and place in a very large mixing bowl to cool.
- Place 1/4 stick of Margarine aside to melt (or melt it for 10 seconds in the microwave).
- While the Rotini is cooling, you should prepare the vegetables. Dice the sandwich ham into small 1/2 x 1 inch strips. Set it aside.
- The cucumbers and tomatoes should be prepared with care to enhance taste. I despise soupy salads in which the cook tossed in tomatoes oozing with seeds and pulp. Here's what I do. For the cucumbers, cut the ends off with a good knife. Use a potato peeler to peel strips of the skin off. I leave some skin on -- in "stripes" for color.
- Cut the cucumbers in half so that you are left with two shorter pieces. Now cut those two short pieces into fourths, as though you were going to make pickles strips. Very carefully, cut into each strip about an inch deep so that you actually cut off the seeds! Cut the remaining strips into 1/2 pieces for the salad.
- The tomatoes should also be treated carefully. Leave the skin on, and cut the tomato into fourths. Take a small spoon and pull out the pulp and seeds that are exposed. Then cut the tomato pieces into small 1 inch cubes.
- Place the diced ham, cucumbers, and tomatoes into the Rotini. Stir thoroughly. Pour 1/2 jar of Shredded Parmesan Cheese into the mixture, then stir it in evenly.
- Now, pour in the melted margarine & some Italian dressing to taste. I don't give specific measurements for the dressing, since some of you like more of it than others. Use your own discretion.
- This recipe is always a winner, and makes it seem like you worked harder to prepare it than you actually did :).