One Recipe, Two Meals: Summery Pasta Salad

There's something so satisfying about a good ol' pasta salad. First of all, it's pasta. Second of all, you can load it up with really anything[, serve it chilled and people will love you for it. I've come up with a super easy pasta salad recipe that's perfect for your kids and you, with only a few minor differences. I'm keeping the kids' version creamy with ranch dressing, baby. And for the adults, a simple garlic vinaigrette and millions of sauteed veggies. It's so delicious.]

Total Time:
25 min
Prep:
10 min
Cook:
15 min

Yield:
5 to 6 servings (3 to 4 adults and 2 kids)

Ingredients
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1 zucchini, sliced and then cut into fourths
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced and then cut into fourths
  • 1 orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon ranch dressing
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 10 chives, finely minced, plus more for garnish, optional
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella pearls
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish, optional
Directions
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil, then boil the pasta until it reaches al dente. Drain and divide in half. Or two-thirds and one-third. Whatever you think works for your fam!

  • In the meantime, saute the zucchini, squash and bell pepper in 1 tablespoon of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until you see a little color all over, about 6 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Lay the veggies on a plate to cool.

  • In one bowl, combine one portion of the pasta with the carrots, half the cherry tomatoes and the tablespoon of ranch dressing. It's ready for your kids!

  • Whisk the white wine vinegar with the garlic powder, chives and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small bowl until it becomes an emulsified vinaigrette.

  • In another bowl, combine the remaining pasta with the cooled vegetables, remaining cherry tomatoes, mozzarella pearls and the chive dressing. Toss to coat and combine everything. Garnish with extra chives or parsley. Eat eat eat!


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