Monday. Just get the baby to sleep and realize it’s lunch time. Priority number one is quickly grabbing something to eat before he wakes up and is on the move again! I open the fridge door and realize I don’t really have anything in there already made and ready to grab. So, looking around the kitchen and in the fridge, I do a quick inventory and my brain runs through options for what I could put together in haste that would be good.
This pasta salad is my fall back plan. I always have what I need to throw it together. Especially since the real name for it (in my head anyway) is “clean out the fridge pasta salad”. I have ripe tomatoes from my garden begging to be used, cucumber, corn I just blanched and took off the cob last night, half a jar of capers, and some green beans from the garden that need to be eaten now! Pasta is always in the pantry and the oil and vinegar dressing is a staple in my fridge. I also happen to have some delicious greek feta which is always an awesome salty addition to this mix.
Contrary to what you might this, this salad comes together FAST! And I make sure I make enough to last a few lunches so that Tuesday and Wednesday are a little less harried. While I have put quantities here, you really can just throw together whatever you have, in any quantity and balance the dressing vs. salad amount accordingly. This is really just a rough guide to get you started. Add whatever veggies you have on hand and leftover meat or fish is also a great addition to this dish. It’s a great way to enjoy those last tastes of summer!
Summer Pasta Salad
1 ½ cups pasta noodles (any shape – I used mini penne noodles)
1 large tomato, cored and cut into large chunks
½ cup cucumber, quartered and sliced
½ cup green beans, trimmed and cut into thirds
½ cup fresh corn kernels (blanched and stripped from the cob)
3 tbsp capers
2 tbsp oil and vinegar dressing, plus more if needed (or Italian – just use your favourite!)
¼ cup crumbled feta (or goat cheese) *optional
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium saucepan of boiling water, add pasta and cook to al dente, according to the package directions (times will vary depending on the type of noodles you choose).
Meanwhile prepare vegetables and combine in a large bowl.
Once pasta is cooked, drain completely and add to the bowl of vegetables. Drizzle the dressing over the mixture, adding more if needed. Mix in crumbled feta and season to taste with salt and pepper.