Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Summer Pasta Salad

Summer is the time to eat light.  It's so hot that anything heavy just tastes terrible and weighs you down.  Since I started working full-time, my husband has been doing a lot of the cooking around here.  He whipped up this yummy pasta salad the other night and it was so good I thought I'd share it with y'all.

Here's a little healthy tip from my household: turn every pasta dish into a salad.  How do I do that?  I lay a bed of greens (fresh spinach, arugala, etc.) on my plate before I place the hot pasta on top.  The pasta will slightly wilt the greens, but they will still keep their fresh bite.  I got this idea from a Giada De Laurentiis recipe and I've started doing it with all of my pasta dishes.

This pasta dish is very simple.  Just slice up a squash, zuchinni, and onion and grill on a griddle pan.  Don't have a griddle pan?  Use a cast-iron skillet or you could fire up the grill.  Let these cook for around 20 minutes on a low heat.  Make pasta.  Dice a tomato or two and mince up two garlic cloves.  Once your squash, zuchini, and onions are done cooking, toss all of the vegetables into the pasta.  Add a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.  Lay a bed of greens on plates and top with the warm pasta. Add parmesan cheese, if desired.

I think what I really liked about this dish was the contrast of the slow cooked vegetables and the fresh vegetables.  The squash, zuccini, and onions add a deep, grilled flavor.  The fresh tomatoes add sweetness and the fresh garlic adds a punch of heat and some zing.  The fresh greens keep the dish summery and light.

Best part about this dish?  Cold leftovers for lunch the next day.

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