Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Summer Salads: Lisa Marotta

Welcome to the party! Every Tasty Tuesday this summer, I'm hosting a Virtual Potluck.  
A gal who loves celebrations as much as--or possibly more than--I do is my friend and Inkling critique buddy Lisa Marotta. You may have caught her last month as Oklahoma Women Blogger's Blogger of the Month. She's known around the web as The Feelings Doctor.  Check out her blog and you'll know why.  
My father claims her dish is the best pasta salad he's ever tasted.  *sniff* I'll pretend he didn't say this when my own pasta salad was available, but I can't.  Whether it's the magic of Marotta or mozzarella, it is certainly delicioso

*Mama Mía! Pasta Salad
1 lb Campanelle Pasta (Or you can use plain or tricolor Rotelle)
16 oz Wishbone Robusto Italian Dressing (Robusto has zing! Don’t accept substitutesJ)
1 Large Bell Pepper, or 3-4 Mini Bell Peppers, sliced
1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved
¼ Cup Red Onion, sliced
1 6oz Can Pitted Black Olives
1 8oz Fresh Mozzarella Ball, sliced into bite sized chunks
Prepare the pasta according to the al dente directions.  Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water.  Put in a large bowl, add the Robusto. Set aside.
Slice the vegetables (Pepper,Tomatoes,Onion) and drain the black olives.  Toss together in a small bowl before adding to the cold Robusto pasta.
Refrigerate for at least one hour. The longer you let the pasta marinate the happier you will be with your salad. 
Slice the mozzarella and set aside for later. If you add the cheese too soon it gets hard by the marinating.  Let the pasta and veggies do the soaking first.  While you are waiting try not to nibble the mozzarella even though you will be tempted. 
Mix the yummy fresh mozzarella to your chilled pasta salad before serving.
Magical Meal Suggestion: This pasta salad is named Mama Mia! because when I was pregnant it was a frequent midnight craving. Back then I skipped the marinating and it still tasted good.  It just tasted BETTER in the morning! These days I pair this cold salad with anything hot off the grill, like burgers or chicken breasts or pork loin.  I like to add a fresh green salad and fruit for color. If the grill master wants a break I grab a rotisserie chicken and make it work.  For a second meal: Cut up the left-over rotisserie chicken and add to your salad for lunches or a main dish later in the week. 


  1. Another winner! Only one suggestion, Lisa - instruct to buy 10 oz of mozzarella, recommend that they DO have a pinch or two ( you KNOW it's gonna happen anyway!) - the recipe still turns out fine and you're the hero that gave them permission to sample. Win-win!

    1. Great idea, Shel. That could have been listed under "Special Tricks." The mozzarella is my favorite part.