Spring Medley Pasta Salad & Happy Bday to Me!

Today is my 23rd birthday.. I don’t know if I should be excited or sad. Excited because it’s my birthday and everyone is obligated to be “nice” to me, but sad because I’m SO old! 23 is such an awkward number- I haven’t JUST turned legal, and I’m not in my mid-twenties yet.. then what am I?! Well anyways, here’s a yummy recipe to start off the spring/summer season!
Here’s a wonderful springy take on pasta salad. It’s definitely not your traditional pasta salad made form packet dressing mix! I combined the best green spring-time vegetables with a fresh sun-dried tomato dressing. It’s like the taste of spring and the Mediterranean all in one bowl! Plus it’s great for leftovers and to take to work the next day. Also fantastic for summertime BBQs and picnics. You won’t be disappointed with this one.
Spring Medley Pasta Salad:
  • 1/2 lb pasta- any shape (I like fusilli)
  • 1 large onion- sliced in thin rainbows
  • 1 zucchini- cut in half moons
  • 1/2 bunch pencil asparagus- blanched & cut in 1/2 diagonals
  • 2-3 cloves garlic- chopped
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning- crushed in palm
  • 1 tbsp red crushed pepper (or to taste)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • PAM Olive Oil Flavor
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Sun-dried Tomato Caper Vinaigrette (recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup cubed fresh mozzarella (optional- leave out if vegan)
  • parmigiana cheese- for garnishing (use vegan style if desired)

1. Bring water salted and sprayed/oiled water to a boil and add pasta. Boil until slightly softer than al dente.

2. As the pasta is boiling, make the vegetable saute. In a large skillet, spray with PAM and pour oil- place over medium high heat. Add onions and saute for about 30 seconds then add garlic. Toss and add red crushed pepper and seasonings. Saute for about 6-7 minutes until onions are golden and slightly soft. Add zucchini and saute for another 5 or so minutes. Once the zucchini and onions are soft, add the asparagus and saute for a few more minutes. We add it in at the end, because they’ve already becoming tender from blanching, so you don’t want to mush them.

3. Once the pasta is boiled, drain and add directly to the warm sauteed vegetables. Toss and drizzle with half of the dressing. Toss and taste for seasoning- it might need some more dressing. Transfer to a large bowl. Once it is slightly cooled, add the cubed mozzarella, toss and refrigerate until ready to serve. Before serving, top with a generous portion of parmigiana cheese.

Serves 4-6

Sun-dried Tomato Caper Vinaigrette: 

  • 4-5 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil- chopped
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 1 tbsp dried basil- crushed
  • 2 cloves of garlic- chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • salt
  • pepper
  • red crushed pepper- to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil
1. Add all of the ingredients to a food processor/blender (except for the oil). Blend until mostly chopped up. While the blender is on low, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the consistency is a chunky dressing. Taste for salt and seasonings.
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6 thoughts on “Spring Medley Pasta Salad & Happy Bday to Me!

  1. 23 is a perfect age. Old enough to do whatever you want, too young to have major responsibilities. I’ve got a month left of it 🙂

    Hope you had a great birthday! And this pasta looks amazing!

  2. Wonderful pasta dish I love your sun-dried tomato vinaigrette dressing. Happy belated birthday, believe me 23 is NOT old. Hope you had a great day.

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