Patchwork Pasta Salad!

I am not sure where this salad got it's name, but I think it's because you can sort of just put what you have on hand in it and it turns out really good...sort of like a patchwork quilt...a little bit of this and a little bit of that.  Here is basically what you will need but feel free to substitute what you have on hand:

Pasta of your choice ( I used bow tie), mayonnaise, sour cream, Italian dressing mix, spicy brown mustard or Dijon, cauliflower, green peas, sliced green onions, artichoke hearts, bacon crumbles, sliced green olives,  cubed cheese of your choice (I used pepper cheese, Parmesan, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.

Boil pasta in salted water for about 7 minutes, add cauliflower cut in bite size pieces and green peas for the last two minutes of cooking time.

Drain pasta and vegetables in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop them from cooking further.  The cauliflower and peas should just be blanched. You can substitute broccoli for cauliflower or use half broccoli, half cauliflower.  Asparagus cut in bite size pieces is also good.

Mix sour cream, mayonnaise, spicy brown mustard, envelope of Italian seasoning, dash of pepper, dash of garlic powder, vinegar, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese.
Add the sliced green onions, sliced olives (I use some salad olives and include a lot of the pimento).

Add the cheese cubes.  I used pepper cheese but you can use cheddar, mozzarella, Colby...just whatever you have on hand.

Mix together well and sprinkle the top with bacon bits.  You can serve immediately or chill and serve later.  This makes a large bowl.  Is there any way to make a little pasta salad?  I don't think there is.


8 oz. pasta ( bow tie, penne, any kind you like)
1/2 head of cauliflower (can use broccoli)
1 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup slice green olives (could substitute sliced ripe olives)
2 cups cheese cubes
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 envelope Italian dressing mix
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1 Tbs. spicy brown mustard (can use Dijon)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar

You can add whatever vegetables you prefer to this and some chopped ham would also be good.  To lighten this recipe up for those who are calorie conscious or trying to lower their fat intake, use 1 cup light Italian dressing and 1 cup low fat plain yogurt instead of the mayonnaise and sour cream.

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