Chopped Summer Salad

4 cups cooked Ditalini pasta, chilled

1 cup crisp cooked and crumbled bacon

6 cups sliced romaine lettuce

2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage

2 carrots, julienne sliced

1 cucumber, seeded and diced

2 tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 bunch sliced green onions

4 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola or Feta cheese

2 cups diced cooked chicken (optional)

Sweet Italian Dressing

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup olive oil

Cook pasta in salted water, drain and chill. I added a few tablespoons of the dressing to the pasta as it chilled, it made it more flavorful. Mix salad ingredients in a large bowl or platter. Dress the salad just before serving--no one likes a soggy salad! For the dressing mix the vinegar and seasonings together, slowly add olive oil--I used an immersion blender to mix the dressing. A food processor or blender would also work. This dressing is amazing, it will keep 2 weeks in the refrigerator so you might want to make extra. I tasted this dressing and imagined dipping warm Rosemary Bread in it. It is yummy.