May 18, 2011

Perfect Summer Pasta Salad

{This post was deleted when Blogger went all crazy last week so I'll do my best to recreate the post in case you wanted the recipe!! Thanks a lot, Blogger...}

Ok, so we all are familiar by now with my obsession with Pioneer Woman. Right? Right. I have never tried a recipe of hers that I didn't love. This time, she had me hooked at "feta cheese crumbles." I love this recipe and definitely plan to make it all summer long with a variety of veggies and pasta shapes! If you are in the market for a fun, fresh, colorful summer pasta salad for all of your upcoming BBQs, bday parties, and get-togethers..... You MUST try this one!

What you'll need:
- 1 Box of Pasta (whatever is your fave ~ I chose Whole Wheat Bow Tie)
- 1 or 2 Zucchinis 
- 2 to 3 Tomatoes (or 1 package of Grape Tomatoes)
- Feta Cheese Crumbles
- 2 Lemons
- 1 Bunch of Fresh Parsley
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper if you're into that...
Start by washing your veggies. Then chop them up into bite-sized pieces and toss them into a big mixing bowl! You could use any vegetables you like... I stuck w/ PW's suggestion of zucchini and tomatoes, but any bright, ripe veggies would be fine in this pretty little summer salad!

Once you have your veggies diced and set aside in a bowl, you can mince your parsley. I usually cheap out on the "fresh" herb part of most recipes... but this is one of those times where I recommend using the real deal. The fresh parsley is really what makes this recipe ~ the dry stuff just won't do this time!

Toss your minced parsley in with your veggies and slice your lemons in half. Then use your stubby, weird lil fingers to smoosh the juice out of them (or just one at this point) and squeeze it allllll over your chopped up ingredients. Although it should be fairly obvious, you should also be boiling your pasta while you do all this chopping and squeezing. You knew that already though I'm sure......

Rinse your cooked pasta with cold water to cool it a bit {Related: I know it is totally gross that we "let" Bella on the counters... but 1) That spot where she sits isn't a surface we cook on or eat from 2) Have you ever tried to train a cat??? No such thing. and 3) She loves watching the steam rise when I cook pasta soo I indulge her!}and ignore my wine stopper from the night before!

After your pasta is rinsed, drained, and cooled a little bit - I, naturally, gauged my pasta temp based on Bella's staring at the steam... when she lost interest, it was no longer piping hot - put it back in your pot (or a bowl, whatever), drizzle some olive oil over it, and mix it up! I saved 1 of my 2 lemons to squeeze over the pasta.
Combine all of your cut up veggies, parsley and cooked pasta in a big bowl. Then add in the delicious feta cheese crumbles...... yummm I love cheese..... stir it all up...... and voila! Add a little salt and pepper, to taste, if you want. Cover and refrigerate for 4+ hours before serving (personal preference) and enjoy!!!
The aftermath of this recipe is really not much to clean up - which is always a plus in my book! It tastes even better than it looks and is sure to be a crowd pleaser at any summer gathering you plan to make it for! Fair warning: this makes a lot of pasta salad. If you are cooking for two, like I was, you may want to half the recipe... but the leftovers did not go uneaten in our house!
Cook-out season is officially upon us ~ stay tuned for more of our favorite summer grilling and BBQ recipes! And let me know what you think of any that you try :)

1 comment:

  1. O wow that looks delicious!! Pasta salads are definitely the best in the summer!


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