Spring Veggie Pasta Salad

What’s going on? It seems every other recipe I’m posting is vegetarian or vegan. Is it because I’m considering a major life change? Is one of us sick? Nope. I’m cleaning out my cabinets remember? And, eating vegetarian is typically cheaper (I’ve found, that’s obviously not true as a general rule) – lately we’ve been eating a vegetarian or vegan meal most of the time. Meaning, 4 days out of the week, we eat meat or fish, the rest, well you get it. This has actually been a cool challenge for me. While I’ve never been a picky eater, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE vegetables, getting my child and husband to eat them as a staple I thought would be difficult. But overall it hasn’t been. I do find my husband picking olives out of certain dishes, or moving arugula to the side if there’s simply too much in his bowl (I know! How can you have TOO MUCH arugula??) but overall, it seems to be doing us both good. And Z? Well, she appears to be graduating into a slightly picking phase. When she helps me cook (every night) then she’ll typically try the dish, but I usually have something on reserve for her so I don’t feel like a crazy person and I know my child is getting nourished. We have LOTS of carrots and apples in my house at the moment.

Anyway, speaking of arugula, I have a friend who is an American, but living in London, who is due to pop any minute (June – but at this point, I know it feels like any moment) and she had taken a picture of a lovely pasta salad she had made last month when it was snowing there and she was longing for spring.

While I decided not to copy the salad (as that’s just mean) I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I made my own version of it (sorry Tiffany), knowing she’s going to come out with a Guest Recipe any minute that is totally going to top this (she a fantabulous cook…did I mention that??)

Anyhoo – here it is, my spring veggie pasta salad. We eat it warm on day one and then cold until the leftovers are gone, and they are usually gone by day 2.

This is what you’ll need;

1 lb of shaped pasta (I used rotini)

1 bunch of fresh arugula (I really wanted something peppery)

1 whole medium sized yellow onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 small red bell pepper, diced

1/4 cup black olives (mine had pits because that’s what I had on hand, I prefer pitted if you can get them)

1/4 cup sundried tomatoes

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/2 tea salt

1/2 tea ground pepper

handful of fresh herbs – I used oregano

Cook your pasta by the box instructions or to your preference

While waiting for your pasta to cook, use a saute pan, on medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil. Add onions, cook for 2 minutes until softened, then add garlic, stir and cook together for 1 minute then add your pepper and cook for 3 minutes. Turn off heat and reserve.

When pasta is done, drain and add to sauteed vegetables. Dump into a large bowl and add all the other ingredients. Stir well and taste. Add other flavors as you feel you need it. Sometimes I find the balsamic doesn’t come through as much as I want it to. Add more! Remember, these flavors will intensify the longer the pasta salad sits. So when I serve this salad warm, I know a kick will come in later. Before I started feeding Z the same food we ate, I used to add 1/4 tea crushed chili pepper, but since she doesn’t like it right now (if she can see it) I omitted this time around.

veggie pasta salad

The next day this dish is really REALLY flavorful, great as a side dish or lunch and perfect to serve outside when relaxing!

Happy Spring everyone!

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About emellt

I love all things food and my plan is to my children feel the same way, one meal at a time. By sharing my recipes, activities and adaptations of others, I hope to get my, and your kids in the kitchen!
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