Monday, May 4, 2009

Pasta Salad and Kentucky Derby Party Menu


This Saturday was the 2009 Kentucky Derby. Steve and I thought it would be fun to host a party this year. Neither of us have even been to the Derby and we aren't into horse racing but it seemed like a fun excuse to have a party. I was excited about wearing a dress and big hat but with all my planning I ended up leaving it for the last minute. I wore a hat but it wasn't the fancy one I envisioned. I skipped the dress due to the weather but it ended up being a beautiful day after all. We all had a great time, ate lots of food and had a lot of laughs. I couldn't have asked for anything more.

Here's my menu. I will be adding recipes here throughout the week so make sure you keep checking back!


Mango Salsa
Rice Croquettes (previously posted)
Deviled Eggs
Guacamole (only store bought item)

Main Meal:

Bourbon Marinated Flank Steak Skewers
Teriyaki Chicken Skewers
Grilled Corn Salad
Pasta Salad
Baby Spinach Salad


Bourbon Balls (Made by Janet)
Coconut Macaroons (Made by Janet)
Assorted Cookies from Ferrara's Bakery (Christine)

Everyone else brought assorted alcoholic beverages and we had plenty of beer, Smirnoff ice and of course, bourbon for Mint Juleps.

The Pasta Salad is always a big hit because it's loaded up with veggies. This recipe isn't exact because I add different things every time. This is basically what I use but anything could be swapped out. Sometimes I use bocconcini (marinated fresh mozzarella balls) instead of feta, different colored peppers, different types of olives. My friend Dana made one last week with provolone and salami and it was great. Use what you like and have fun with it.

Michele’s Pasta Salad


2lbs rotini pasta or any other medium size pasta (farfalle, rotelle, cavatappi)
2 small jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained and cut in half
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 medium jar red roasted peppers, drained and chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 small red onion, diced
Approx 1 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced in half
1 - 2 small bunch broccoli florets, boiled in salted water or steamed
1 small package grape tomatoes, halved
1 small container, crumbled feta cheese
1 small bunch basil, torn
Grated Romano cheese, to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Italian Dressing (or I make my own dressing)


Boil pasta in salted water, drain and rinse with cold water. Combine with all other ingredients. Toss with oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic powder or your favorite Italian Dressing (I like Good Seasons). Add a little at a time and taste to adjust seasoning to taste.

This serves an army but leftovers are great the next day!


Mom on the Run said...

I love your new look. Emily is amazing!!

What a great recipe for summer BBQ season.

Bob said...

Jarred peppers?!? Heh, kidding. :)

Sounds like fun, all the food sounds awesome. I must admit, I'm intrigued by bourbon balls.

Culinary Alchemist said...

I love your pasta Salad Recipe... MMMMM Gotta make this one for my next cook out.

Michele said...

Bob - don't make me come over there! I had enough to do! lol

Thanks guys!

Spryte said...

YUM!! I love pasta salad!! Yours look soooo good!!!

Carolyn said...

I can vouch for the "yummy" factor for this pasta salad - in fact, I was just eating some that came home with me from the party!! ;-)

And Bob, those balls WERE really good!

teresa said...

Party! The menu looks wonderful as does the salad!

Theresa said...

Sounds like it was lots of fun!!! The menu looks good too.

Melissa said...

The menu looks great and this pasta salad looks delish!

Danielle said...

Michele...everything sounds wonderful. I'm so glad you posted that Pasta Salad I know what I'm going to bring to the next Pot Luck at work :)(we have them monthly).

Bradpetehoops said...

Look so delicious.

ImStuffed said...

I have to tell you...i made this for the potluck at work yesterday and it was a GREAT HIT!!! I think next time I'll cut the recipe in half tho....seriously it really COULD feed an army! LOL YUMMY stuff