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Rated: E · Other · Food/Cooking · #1939322
a different twist on pasta salad.
Everyone loves something cold and refreshing on a summer day especially when it gets into the nineties.

Stuffed Pasta Salad

This pasta salad has been floating around on the web with diced cooked chicken. ( if you want just chicken it is 2 cups diced) I did mine with a variety of chopped deli meats or the sticks of summer sausage, salami and pepperoni found I liked it better.
Feel free to experiment that is what great about cooking everyone adds their own touch to a recipe.

12 ounce box of the large pasta shells cooked and rinsed well. Allow them to cool completely. Directions are on the box.
4 cups of chopped romaine, keep it on the smaller side because it is going into the pasta shells.
1 cup of diced tomatoes
3/4 cup of diced cucumber
1/2 cup of chopped fresh basil

3 ounces of salami
3 ounces of ham
3 ounces of turkey
if you are going the deli meat option which is about a 1/4 lb. of each. Cut the pieces on the smaller size keeping in mind they are going into shell with other ingredients.

3 ounces of hard stick salami
3 ounces of summer sausage
3 ounces of pepperoni
which depends on the size of your stick. I just cut mine up finely and put into measuring cup till it says 3 ounces on side of glass.

Now that I have all of these ingredients in bowl, I mix well.

I take a 1/3 cup of the bottled dressings~ basil vinaigrette sometimes I use raspberry vinaigrette if I am feeling lazy and pour over salad ingredients blending well.

If I am feeling more energetic I toss into a blender
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of either red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 tbsp. of chopped fresh oregano (1/2 teaspoon dried oregano)
1 tbsp. of chopped parsley ( 1/2 teaspoon of dried parsley)
kosher salt and coarse black pepper to taste.

I do prefer kosher it holds up in dressing

Blend about 15 seconds or everything looks really blended then I pour 1/3 cup over salad. I use the rest of my dressing with a side of cherry tomatoes and fresh cut up mozzarella as an appetizer or lunch while the salad is chilling.

Now that I have the vegetables coated use a spoon to fill the shells I put them on a serving plate that has some more chopped romaine and baby spinach so they look like they are nesting. I drizzle whatever dressing left in bowl or I use just a little more so my pasta has a touch of flavor added to it. I cover with saran wrap and chill several hours.

When I serve it I place a bowl of shaved fresh parmesan on the table to top your salad with.

If I want to give it a Greek touch add feta cheese to the salad before stuffing the shells and then serve additional feta at table.

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