I love when a lightbulb goes off as the saying goes. This day was one of those days. I needed to make something fast but still yummy, with not a lot of preparation time. As I scoured my meager fridge items I spotted a container of 4 bean salad from my store deli, that included thin sliced red onions also in a nice vinaigrette dressing. Also, this particular day, I had a small piece of leftover ham steak already cooked. Next I headed to my cupboard and grabbed my pasta choices, of which there are several in all shapes sizes and types. Then I picked one with cooking time 10-12 minutes, and made that for the 12 minutes. In the meantime I diced up the ham in small pieces. Once the pasta was done I rinsed well in cold water and tossed everything together, and my simple but really good pasta salad was done. Popped it in the fridge for the 45 minutes I had left before I needed it and felt pretty proud of myself. IF you used a pasta that takes less time, it could even be done quicker. I actually tried a little still warm and it wasn't bad, but I had a chilled pasta salad on my mind.
You will notice today, however, my photo shows leftover shrimp this time on the salad. I have even had it without anything else just the bean salad. Some bean salads just have 3 types of beans, this one I like because it has green and yellow beans as well as the kidney and chic peas. The amount of pasta you use will depend on the amount of the salad, when you get ready to serve if the pasta seems a little dry after stirring, just add a little more of your own vinaigrette dressing. Sometimes if the pasta is not cooked well, it will absorb some of the dressing like it does in soup broth. Note: I also added some leftover red peppers I had chopped for a different recipe and didn't need.
This is also great to take to a summer picnic/barbecue as is, will keep many hours without any added meats or shrimp etc., of course!! you can of course always add them later!