Although now that I spilled the beans on that little fancy but ridiculously easy secret, I doubt my local friends are going to be impressed the next time they ask me to make and bring my grilled red pepper pasta salad to the next cookout.
On second thought, they are probably more than happy I finally wrote the recipe down because this simple pasta salad tastes swanky and always gets rave reviews, especially when I make it a day ahead and let the dressing do its marinade magic in the refrigerator overnight.
Food Allergy and Vegan Friendly Pasta Salad Recipe
This pasta salad is what I call a Granimals recipe. Remember those mix and match tags on kids clothes? Well you can do the same with this side dish recipe. If you don’t like or have artichoke hearts on hand leave them out. If you and yours go crazy for a different kind of cheese, leave out the feta or substitute it. Since I have a dairy allergy, I serve feta cheese crumbles on the side so everyone can enjoy this recipe to his or her liking.
Not pictured: the feta cheese
I am always amazed how many raves Husband’s and my dishes get when we include a DIY personalized option. It is the easiest way to please everyone and let the food allergy folks (like myself) not miss out on the fantastic food.
2 Red bell peppers
1 Can or jar of black olives – drained and sliced
1 Jar of artichoke hearts – drained and sliced
2 – 4 Sliced roma tomatoes – depending on size and desire
2 – 4 Minced cloves of garlic – or more or less depending on size and how much you like garlic
Italian salad dressing – purchased or homemade. Your choice!
1 Package of pasta – use your favorite. I’m using spinach bow tie pasta to be fancy.
Salt and/or pepper to taste if desired.
Optional: Crumbled Feta cheese
How to Make It
1. Wash, slice, and grill the red peppers. I’m taking the quick, easy, and lazy way out (naturally) and roasting my red peppers on my George Foreman grill I bought from Amazon here (affiliate link.)
I love you George Foreman. You make my grilling easy.
2. Once the grilled peppers are cool to the touch, slice and cube them and add them to a mixing bowl.
3. Prepare the pasta following the directions on the package.
4. While the pasta cooks, add the sliced black olives, artichoke hearts, Roma tomatoes, and garlic to the red peppers in the mixing bowl and stir.
Mixing it up!
5. Drain and rinse the cooked pasta with water.
6. Stir the pasta into the vegetable mixture.
7. Pour the Italian dressing over the salad and mix until all of the pasta and vegetables are covered.
8. Season with salt and pepper to taste if desired.
9. Serve feta cheese on the side for your non dairy allergy and vegan guests to add to their pasta salad if they wish – it is always a hit when I do this because people can add as little or as much feta cheese as they like or skip it all together if they like.
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