Pasta Salad Recipe

Believe it or not, I have never made pasta salad before…. Nor have I ever really enjoyed eating it. I would see a bowl of it occasionally at the table for different holidays but ignore it because it probably had tomatoes in it…. Which I hate if you didn’t already know that. I know hate is a strong word. But. Yeah. I stand by it. 

Anyway, I figured I would give it a shot. I kind of just threw a bunch of stuff together but it turned out pretty darn good! 

Here’s what you’ll need! 

  • Tri-color pasta
  • About 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil 
  • 3.8 oz can of sliced ripe olives 
  • 8.5 oz can of quartered artichoke hearts
  • 1 red bell pepper 
  • 1-4 red onion 
  • 1/2 cucumber 
  • 1 avocado 
  • Feta cheese 
  • Tajin and garlic salt (yes I know, I use this on just about everything) 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

First make the pasta…

Boil water add a pinch of salt, toss those little guys in there and cook them till they’re soft. When they’re cooked, drain the hot water and run some cold water over them to cool them down. 

 
While your noodles are boiling, go ahead and chop the cucumber, bell pepper and red onion. 

  
When the pasta is finished cooking put it back in the pan and drizzle some olive oil over it. 

  
Find a large bowl and start to mix everything together. Pasta, cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, artichokes, olives and avocado. Also add tajin and garlic salt.

Drizzle some more olive oil OR use a light salad dressing and mix it in. 

  
Top it off with some feta cheese, salt and pepper and enjoy!

  

Rigatoni Lasagna-like Bake

I’ve been looking for a good excuse to use my super cute blue ceramic baking dish which was a wedding gift from my cousin Anita! 🙂 I made this last week and it was my fist time making it, I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit so that it tastes even better when you make it!

This dish is like lasagna but with rigatoni and is much easier to make. I call it “Not Soup” because this is my first blog recipe that isn’t some sort of soup!

Heres what you’ll need:

Rigatoni noodles, 1tbsp salt, 2tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, pasta sauce of your choice (I chose tomato basil and garlic), Mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, 1Lb ground beef and your choice of seasonings (I used “italian seasonings” from our spice rack)

IMG_1913

Start by boiling a pot of water with 1 tsp. salt

IMG_1915

While water is coming to a boil cut the onion and two cloves of garlic

IMG_1917

Add Rigatoni to boiling water and pre-heat your oven to 350

While noodles are softening, add 1 Tbsp Olive oil to a large skillet and start cooking the beef.

IMG_1916

When the beef is mostly brown, add the onion, garlic and any seasoning you’d like (maybe basil), allow onions to turn brown, then add the whole jar of pasta sauce. (I made the mistake of only adding about half and it turned out a little bit dry in my opinion)

IMG_1920 IMG_1921

Drain noodles and add 1 Tbsp of Olive oil to keep the noodles from sticking together.

IMG_1919

Grab your 9X13 baking dish and start by adding a layer of noodles to the bottom, then cover the noodles in half of the meat mixture, cover the meat mixture with a layer of mozzarella cheese.

IMG_1922 IMG_1923

Repeat again, adding the rest of the noodles, then the remaining meat mixture, then more mozzarella and parmesan cheese to cover the entire top of the dish.

IMG_1925 (I might have over-done it with the cheese)

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cheese on top is browning and serve with a side salad!

IMG_1930