This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Barilla®. All opinions are 100% mine.
Spring is officially here and it’s one of my favorite seasons. The sun is warm, but it’s not so hot outside that you want to run away and escape to the air conditioning. When the weather turns warm, I start looking for cooler food. One of my favorite cold foods is pasta salad. I was craving the sweet and tangy combination of one of my favorite salads. I knew the ingredients would make a wonderfully robust Raspberry Pecan Pasta Salad.
I love how easy pasta salad is to modify based on my family’s cravings for dinner. With a simple change of the salad dressing, seasonings, or mix-in items, I can make a different variety of pasta salad and keep my family from getting bored with dinner. Lucky for me too, Samsclub.com now sells a new Barilla® Pasta Variety Pack (1 lb. box, 7 ct.) Farfalle, Elbows and Rotini. Buying one package with 3 different shaped pasta gives me even more ways to shake up my favorite pasta salad recipes. My husband is also the type to eat pasta seven days a week. This variety pack was made for him and his love of pasta!
This Variety Pack was made for my husband and his love of pasta. Barilla®’s quality ingredients are important to me. I can confidently create an assortment of hot and cold pasta salads that my family will enjoy every day, a whole new way.
For this recipe I chose the rotini pasta. I love how the raspberry vinaigrette dressing gets into all the curves of the pasta. I add the dressing right after the water is drained and the pasta is still hot. The pasta absorbs more of the vinaigrette flavors while it’s warm. Plus the pretty pink color is super fun to celebrate Spring.
The key to a good pasta salad is not over-cooking the pasta. Barilla® is always al dente and doesn’t break apart into bits when you stir in the other ingredients. I also like to mix the other ingredients together with the vinaigrette before adding them to pasta. This way you are only combining the pasta and remaining ingredients one time. This pasta salad is delicious served chilled or room temperature, which is perfect for a neighborhood BBQ. The vinaigrette reduces the concern for spoilage versus a pasta salad made with creamy dressing.
Shake up the sides in your house next week. Visit your local Sam’s Club and pick up the new Barilla® Pasta Variety Pack and see how much fun you can have creating your own assortment of pasta salad combinations.
What are your favorite pasta salad ingredients?
- 1 16 oz box of Barilla Rotini Pasta
- 1½ Cups diced cucumbers
- 1 Cup dried cherries
- 1 Cup chopped glazed pecans
- 1½ Cups of your favorite Raspberry Vinaigrette
- 1 Cup crumbled Feta cheese
- Cook 16 oz of Barilla Rotini Pasta according to directions on package
- Drain pasta when al dente and return to pot
- Drizzle ½ cup of Raspberry vinaigrette over warm pasta and toss to coat thoroughly. Set aside to cool.
- In large bowl combine diced cucumbers, dried cherries, and glazed pecans. Drizzle ½ cup of Raspberry vinaigrette over mixture and toss to coat thoroughly.
- When pasta is cool, combine pasta with cucumber mixture and combine.
- Drizzle another ½ cup of Raspberry vinaigrette to pasta salad (or more to taste) and toss to coat thoroughly.
- Sprinkle Feta cheese on top right before serving.
- Gently toss pasta salad to mix in Feta cheese crumbles, and serve.