One of my favorite recipes to make for barbecues, pot lucks and any gathering is pasta salad. It's cheap, easy and super tasty.
1 lb colored spiral pasta
1 large tomato (hothouse or preferably heirloom)
1 cucumber with the skin removed
1/2 red onion
1 small can sliced black olives
1 package of Good Seasons Italian dressing prepared to package directions (I use Extra Virgin Olive Oil and balsamic vinegar)
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil water and start cooking pasta. While I am doing this, I like to chop heirloom tomato, cucumber and red onion into very small pieces. Once the pasta is done, drain and rinse in VERY COLD water. It's a cold salad, so it helps to have the pasta as cold as possible so it can be served faster :-) Once all my veggies are chopped, dressing is made and pasta is cooked, I take the largest bowl I have and start mixing. I find the easiest way to do this is with my hands, it gets everything incorporated and mixed really well! Add salt and pepper to your taste preference and mix again. Viola! Yummy pasta salad, and it's easy!
The best thing about this salad is how easy it is to change. Substitute Greek dressing for Italian and add feta, and it's Greek! You can also add Italian peppers and salami if you know you aren't serving to vegetarians or the pork product conscious. Play with it if you like, adding spices, ingredients etc because you can really make it delicious and tasty and your own.