Balsamic Pasta Salad

For some reason, there were beef hotdogs with cheese in the middle in my freezer.  I decided I could only make them if I could come up with something healthy to eat on the side.  I was VERY motivated because I love hot dogs- maybe that’s how they got in my freezer…  This pasta salad was really fast to make (about 30 minutes- I chopped all of the vegetables while the water was heating and the pasta was cooking) and is delicious.  And it is healthy enough to eat with beef hotdogs with cheese!



  • 1 box pasta (I used Ronzoni Smart Taste Penne)
  • 2 heads of broccoli, chopped into florets
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 box grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 bag spinach (I would have used the whole bag but I ran out of room in my pot!)


  • 1 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • freshly grated parmigiano reggiano  cheese (optional)


  1. Cook the pasta according to directions on the box.  Two minutes before the pasta is done, add broccoli to the boiling water (This may or may not be called blanching).  Drain when pasta is done cooking
  2. Cool pasta/broccoli by running it under cold water
  3. Mix in all of the remaining salad ingredients
  4. Whisk together all of dressing ingredients, pour dressing over salad
  5. Salt to taste, and grate more cheese on top
  6. Done!  Now you can go back to your life and I can go back to studying


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