Cholula Pasta Salad
- 1 lb. of cooked pasta (shells, ziti, penne, or as desired)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups tomatoes, chopped into 3/4 ” cubes
- 1 1/2 cups quartered artichoke hearts, canned or frozen
- 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, 3/4 ” cubes
- 1 cup black olives, sliced and pitted
- 2/3 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 2/3 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese grated
- For the Dressing – 1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, slighly smashed (or 2 teaspoons garlic powder)
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce (canned)
- 1/4 teaspoon Cholula Original Hot Sauce With The Wooden Stopper Top – 12 ounce or Cholula Chili Garlic Hot Sauce With The Wooden Stopper Top or Cholula Chili Lime Seasoning or Cholula Chili Roast Garlic Seasoning or Cholula Original Seasoning Blend (or more to taste)
- 1/2 cup Basil chopped fresh leaves, or 2 tablespoons dried leaves
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- salt to taste
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water (add salt to taste and 1 tablespoon oil to prevent boiling) until “al dente”, about 8 or 9 minutes. Rinse , set aside and drizzle remaining tablespoon olive oil over to keep the pasta from sticking together.
Add chooped tomatoes, artichoke hearts, cubed mozzarella cheese, black olives and red onion to the cooked pasta. Set aside while you prepare dressing.
Heat the olive oil with the garlic (if using garlic powder, add it with basil and salt) until bubbly (don’t let the garlic brown – it will taste bitter). Add chopped red bell pepper and continue to cook over medium heat for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove garlic cloves. Add tomato sauce and the Cholula Hot Sauce. Simmer 5 minutes. Add basil, salt and lemon juice. Cover pasta and vegetable, spinkle with Parmesan or Romano. Store in refrigerator. Serve at room temperature.
This healthy pasta salad will serve as an entree for 8 or as a side dish for 12 or more. Try adding cold, peeled, boiled shrimp or cubes of cooked chicken breast.