If you follow me on Facebook, you might have seen me asking for some quick and cool (temperature-cool not slang-expression-for-something-fabulous-cool) dinner ideas as we are heading into an extreme heat wave here in Southeastern PA. I will be trying out some of the suggestions that I received (add yours if you haven’t already)!
I had tonight’s dinner covered – pork roast in the crock pot (no hot oven required!), corn on the cob and then I decided to whip up some quick and easy pasta salad. I had a bunch of pasta just begging to be used from my last coupon trip, so this summer staple was practically calling my name.
I have made this version of pasta salad with slight variations over the years – many times I’ll add broccoli and I switch between Italian dressing and raspberry vinaigrette dressing (usually whatever I have on hand). The secret flavor that sends this salad right into summertime is the freshly chopped dill – which for today’s batch I was excited to cut right from my herb garden!
You will need:
12 oz pasta (1 box) – I tend to use whatever I have in the pantry, so feel free to substitute your favorite variety. Today I used a tri-color penne pasta.
Handful of grape tomatoes, rinsed and halved
1 green pepper, rinsed and chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles
3/4 cup Italian salad dressing
1 or 2 stalks of fresh dill, chopped
How to make:
1. Cook pasta to al dente. Transfer from pot to colander and rinse in cold water to halt the cooking process.
2. Transfer cooled pasta to a bowl. Add all other ingredients and stir until combined.
I always try to make my pasta salad at least a few hours before serving it (or even the night before). I chill it in the refrigerator until it’s time to eat. Sometimes I will add an extra splash of dressing to the salad right before I serve it.