Thursday, July 5, 2012

Summer Pasta Salad

Lately I've been in a mood for some tasty salads. We eat a fresh veggie garden salad for lunch every day. However I have a large husband who needs substance - and if we are going to be feeding people I don't like to force pure veggies on anyone. 


So I came up with the Summer Pasta Salad. It mixes a garden salad with a pasta dish and it is lovely. What's even better about it is that it can use any number of ingredients so it's really a salad that can use up random things in your fridge. 


Ingredients:
  • Salad materials
  • Pasta (one box)
  • Veggies to Roast
  • Johnny's Garlic Seasoning (from Costco)
  • Cream Cheese / 1/2 to a whole pack
  • Milk (1/2 cup)
First, the salad part:


You make a salad. Lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, snap peas, shredded carrots, etc...basically if you like it in a salad and it is a vegetable, go on, throw it in. 




Also you can see the yellow tomato and zucchini from the garden outside that Mark brought us. I'm so excited to cook them. 


Then, the Pasta part:


First, cook pasta. Penne, spiral, etc. Strain and set aside.


Then roast veggies. Whichever veggies you like, Zucchini, Squash, etc. Toss them in a small amount of olive oil, add Johnny's Garlic Seasoning to taste and bake at 425 for 30 minutes. 


Lastly, make the sauce. Start by dicing some garlic and onions and saute in margarine/oil/butter. Throw in some mushrooms. Add a douse of Johnny's Garlic Seasoning. Let simmer / saute for 5-10 minutes. Add chopped cream cheese. Let slowly water with 1/2 cup of hot water. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 milk and let simmer for 5 more minutes. 


Alternatively you can have all this cooking at once. 


Add penne, roasted veggies and sauce together. Cool.





Combine:


Mix the pasta dish with the salad dish and add some shredded cheddar cheese to top. And voila!



Extras:


There should be enough sauce in the pasta to coat the veggies but if there isn't you can follow the dressing directions on the Johnny's Garlic Seasoning container for more. 


Also, you can add cooked meat (ham, chicken, turkey, etc) or even some cooked seafood (I've often done this with crab or shrimp). 


And noteworthy - you can cook enough of the pasta section for two meals and then enjoy half of it for dinner the night before. And the next day you can use it cold on the salad. 


And let me tell you - your guests or husband will LOVE this. 

1 comment:

LeAnna et David said...

Last pasta salad I made, I bought fresh rotini from the cool aisle instead of the boxed stuff and it blew pasta salads out of the water. It loses a lot of the starchiness and keeps with the whole light summer meal theme, but is still filling because it's pasta.

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