Side Dishes: Pasta Salad at a Pig Roast

One of our more popular side dishes we offer at our annual pig roast is a large bowl of pasta salad. We make it with lots of veggies so even the closet vegetarians have something delicious that they can enjoy.
We use the multi-colored fusilli pasta (known in our family as curly-cue pasta). I use a huge pot to cook 4-5 bags of pasta. Plan on it taking a looong time to get that large of a pot to boil!

When the pasta is still chewy, go ahead and pull it off the heat and start draining it. While I drain mine, I add ice cubes to it so it stops cooking and starts cooling down quickly.

Once you’ve got it drained and cooled enough to handle it, go ahead and dump all kinds of veggies in it and gently stir it all together.
For my veggies, I pre-chop a wide assortment of colorful veggies. Some that I use are julienned (thin sticks of) carrots, red onion, scallions (the green tops and the white bulbs), multi-colored bell peppers, yellow squash, zucchini, cauliflower, and whatever else catches my eye in the produce stand.
I used to add tomatoes but they seem to get too soft and discolored other veggies. I also used to add parmesan cheese but to use enough to taste, it gave a dull color to the dish. Those are my thoughts but try different things and get creative. You might find something more exciting that way!

For a dressing you can make a yummy vinaigrette with lots of herbs in it or for those less adventuresome just get a good dressing from the grocery. Avoid red wine vinegar or other colorful dressings as they will lessen the colorful appearance of your masterpiece.
Because I have so much pasta salad, I store it in the large zipper plastic bags so it can spread out. That way it won’t be so heavy and won’t stick together.

Earlier I mentioned that the pasta should be slightly undercooked. After storing it for a couple of days, it will soften up and if it isn’t a bit chewy to start with, it will be mushy and start breaking apart.

Pasta salad is a nice hearty addition to a pig roast. Slightly undercooked the pasta and add a colorful assortment of fresh veggies and it will be a hit at your backyard barbecue.

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