It’s summer. The livin’ is supposed to be easy. But then the unexpected guests show up. Or you can’t decide what you should make for the family reunion. Or it’s hot in your kitchen. Or you think you don’t know how to cook, but have been asked to bring a dish to a party. I am here to help you out. Here is what I did yesterday and it will give you an idea how to create a pasta dish with what you have on hand.

 

Looked in my Pantry: 12 oz bag of Al Dente Pasta,  6.5 oz.jar of Artichokes and Olive Oil.

Looked in my Fridge: Feta Cheese (1/2 cup),  a few leftover green beans and 5 sun-dried tomatoes

Looked on my Counter: 3 Fresh Tomatoes

Looked on my Porch: Fresh Basil and Parsley, growing in a pot.

 

Directions:

Quarter the tomatoes and squeeze out the seeds. Diced them and put in big bowl along with artichokes, slivered sun-dried tomatoes, chopped green beans, feta, basil and parsley, 1/3 cup olive oil, salt and pepper. When you are ready to eat, simply bring your pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta for 3 minutes. Before draining, ladle a 1/4 cup of the water into your bowl.  Drain the pasta and toss in the bowl with the wonderful mixture. Season with salt and pepper.  Serve hot or at room temperature. (If serving at room temperature, you may want to sprinkle with a little vinegar or lemon before serving.)

So that’s how you put together a pasta dish. Modify the ingredients to reflect how many people you are feeding. Of course you can plan ahead and have specific ingredients on hand, but the beauty of this way of cooking is that you can improvise using what you have in your pantry, fridge and garden. Truly a no-brainer!

Here is secret code to get 15% off of a case of pasta put together especially for summer pasta salads. Enter this code at point of checkout. SUM2011