Warm Grilled Pasta Salad

This is an original creation of mine.  I’ll list it in order of how I prepare the meal.  Note: I mix up the ingredients as they come off the grill and out of the boiling water, that’s the warm part.  This is not chilled.  But we did find that if you mix up a second batch of the dressing and mix it in the next day it tastes pretty good as well.

Cooking Order: it depends on how long it takes you to chop up vegetables for stir-fry.  Usually I start cooking my raw sausage, then mix the dressing and then chop the veggies, start the noodles (water is pre-warmed)  and then grill/stir fry my veggies.  Sometimes I prep the veggies first, and then have my daughter cook the meal (she is 8).  So she then starts with the sausage and the pasta, mixes the dressing and then does the veggies, and then tosses the mixture).

Dressing: (mix and set in fridge)

1 cup mayonnaise (low fat!)

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 cup cheddar cheese, grated finely

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (the inexpensive powder kind is excellent in this but the expensive stuff is superb!)

Note: I mix the above in the bowl I plan to put all the ingredients into at the end to save a dish.

In skillet:

cook two – four sausages.  I like the mild Italian with this salad.

my cooking method: lay sausage in skillet, fill pan with about 1 inch of water (choose pan that doesn’t have loads of extra space), cover with a lid and check every now and then to turn over and to check if finished.

Prepare 4 cups dry pasta to your preference.  Note: I like it best al dente.  Drain and shake off extra water, place in bowl to wait for the other ingredients.

Prepare veggies:

We like zucchini, red onions, celery, snow peas, mushrooms, red and green peppers, but basically choose any veggies.  Approximately 6 cups worth.

I prepare them to mouth sized pieces and then grill or skillet fry with water for about 5  minutes.  I’ll throw in the onion first, then the celery a bit later, zuc’s, the mushrooms, and then in the last 3 minutes throw in the peppers and snow peas.  I really like my veggies warm but crispy.  The warming of them tends to do a great job in bringing out the natural sugar flavours in the foods while keeping many of the good vitamins in the veggies.

Slice the sausage in the rounds.

Mix the lot together.  Sometimes, if I’m feeling ‘lavish’ I’ll serve on individual places and sprinkle with extra Parmesan cheese.

Shopping List:

Stir fry veggies  (zucchini, red onion, mushrooms, peppers, snow peas)

dijon mustard

mayonaise

cheeses

sausage (2 – 4)

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