This "Garden Pasta Salad" is a really good recipe for summer, because you can use you fresh garden produce in it. It works during the cooler months also, but you will just have to get your veggies from the grocery. I love this served by itself for a light lunch, but it's the perfect side dish for your next cookout or to take to a potluck. Here is what you will need:
2 cups pasta of your choice, uncooked (we used mini bow ties)
2 cups diced ham
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup cooked green peas
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup diced green pepper
1/3 cup minced sweet onion
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
3/4 cup prepared Ranch dressing
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water. Place the cooled pasta in a large salad bowl. Add the ham, cheese, green peas and vegetables. Pour the Ranch dressing over all. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Gently stir to mix it all and so the dressing coats the pasta. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
You can serve this as soon as you prepare it, but I think it's better after it chills and the flavors have time to blend!