Pasta Salad

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Prep:

Not your typical pasta salad; it's better:D I got it from a coworker and I tweaked it at home. It came out so well I thought I would post it. Its popularity at work was due to adding dressing sparingly. Start with a quarter cup, then taste and adjust if you think it's necessary. I've included instructions for a low-fat Italian dressing that I made with an envelope of Good Seasons Italian dressing mix. If you're not concerned about your fat intake, you can follow package directions (or use your favorite Italian dressing). I was able to make this in 20 minutes by cutting veggies while orzo was cooking and served it as a one dish meal. A good pot luck dish too (can be doubled easily).

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Ingredients [?]

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  • add   1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, cut into strips (not packed in oil)
  • add   1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • add   1/4 cup cider vinegar (I like to use a bit more vinegar and reduce water accordingly)
  • add   1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts
  • add   1/2 small red onion
  • add   15 kalamata olives
  • add   2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • add   1 teaspoon sesame oil or olive oil
  • add   1/4 teaspoon pepper (to taste)
  • add   1/2 cup water
  • add   1/2 jalapeno pepper
  • add   3 tablespoons water
  • add   1 yellow bell pepper or orange bell pepper, cut into strips (capsicum)
  • add   2 ounces feta or goat cheese
  • add   1/4 cup fresh parsley or fresh basil
  • add   1 (2/3 ounce) package good seasons Italian salad dressing mix
  • add   1 garlic clove
  • add   1 cup orzo pasta

Instructions

  1. Cook orzo in 2 quarts water for 8-10 minutes or according to package directions and drain.
  2. Add other ingredients up to Italian dressing mix and toss gently with a large spoon.
  3. Combine the vinegar with 3 tablespoons water.Add Italian dressing mix and shake well.Add oil and rest of water and shake well.Measure out a quarter cup, pour over salad and toss gently.
  4. Taste and add more dressing (a little at a time) if desired.Can be served immediately, at room temperature or chilled.