Sometimes you just want pasta! Pasta is a comfort food.
I am not that crazy about a spaghetti noodle and a red sauce. My kids would be happy to have spaghetti and meat sauce on a weekly basis, but I would rather have a veggieful sauce on a polenta wedge! Now, that sounds good.
My grandmother lives below us and has for a few years. A year and a half ago she stopped driving. Therefore, my sister and I do her grocery shopping. Molly usually does the Walmart and Costco runs. I do the Tom Thumb and primarily Trader Joe’s runs.
I also try to cook for her when I can. She is not crazy about everything I make, but there are somethings she gets excited about.
Nanny requested pasta a week or so ago. She mentioned she used to love a Suddenly Salad box set she used to get. You boiled the noodles and added mayo. How simple is that? I think it is a bacon ranch situation. I actually found a box last weekend and threw it in my pantry to surprise her one day.
I do really love a quinoa salad. I have found it makes a little healthier version of a cold pasta salad.
Looking through recipes this week, I came across a cold pasta salad I thought I could tweak a little with what I had on hand to make work.
It did not disappoint! I love what turned out!
Here is what I did:
1 bag Fussilli pasta (cooked and drained. I ran mine under water to stop cooking and cool a bit)
1 English Cucumber – slice into quarter slices
1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes (I quartered mine because they were large)
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts chopped
1 jar sliced Kalamata olives drained
1 small red onion chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 container of Italian Dressing (shocker, I used a Trader Joe’s jar with balsamic)
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tbs nutritional yeast
4-6 tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper
- Start pasta. Cook, drain and cool. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add all the chopped veggies.
- In a medium bowl. Add the dressing, extra olive oil, salt and pepper, nutritional yeast and red pepper flakes. Mix well with a whisk or fork.
- Add dressing and pasta to the veggies and toss to coat!
This made enough for 5-6 servings.
I loved it! It was comforting and a nice change of pace from my go to quinoa salad.
Nanny, you have a scrap bag coming your way after the family dinner tonight.