I just threw this together and liked the combination. Maybe you will, too. You can vary the ingredients according to your preferences, and of course fresh veggies may be used instead of frozen. I didn't measure anything, so this is not really a recipe at all, and it won't matter a lot (within reason!) how much you use of anything.
I started with what the package said was 6 servings of macaroni pasta. Cook according to the directions, OR do what I do - which not only works but keeps the kitchen cooler and saves energy! I bring the water to a full boil, adding salt or not according to taste. Stir in the pasta and keep stirring it until it again reaches a boil. Stirring is very important or it might clump. When boiling again, remove it from the heat and immediately put a lid on it. I know your Italian great granny is rolling in her grave at this point, but I've never had it not work. Set your timer the same as if you were cooking it the normal way. When the time is up, be sure to stir it again before you drain it.
For a cold pasta salad in a hurry, I drain off the hot water and then plunge the pasta into a bowl of ice water. The water needs to be deep enough that the ice will float and can be removed easily. Let it sit for about 3 minutes, then skim off any remaining ice and drain.
The other ingredients for this salad:
A package of frozen mixed vegetables (any kind you like!), cooked, but not overcooked, and chilled as you did for the pasta. (If you have the impression that I waited until the last minute to cook dinner, you might have that right.)
About a cup or more of cooked chicken, shrimp, beef, smoked sausage or combination
About 4-6 ounces of bottled Green Goddess dressing
A couple of tablespoons of Balsamic vinaigrette
Several sliced radishes and green onions
A small can of black olive slices (or other olives, if you prefer)
About a half an 8 oz. package of fresh mushrooms, sliced
A half cup or so of shredded sharp cheddar (Many other kinds of cheese would be fine in this!)
Several leaves of fresh basil, chopped
That should do it. You really can't go wrong with this. Now I'm going to tell you why I used the Green Goddess dressing: It's because I bought it on impulse recently forgetting that we really don't like the stuff on a tossed salad. I wanted to get rid of it, and this turned out to be a good use for it.
One other thing you can add to your pasta salad, which I didn't feel like messing with today, is crisp crumbled bacon. I sort of regret my laziness in that regard, but I'm sure DH and I don't need any more bacon in our diet.
I hope this will inspire someone. Enjoy!