Summer cooking should be light, fresh, healthy, and in my opinion, simple. Spending time in a hot kitchen on a warm summer day isn’t exactly my idea of a good time and my recipes reflect that. One of my favorite warm-weather recipes is my summer pasta salad. A cold pasta salad, chock full of summer veggies, and citrusy flavor, this dish will become your new staple at picnics and backyard BBQs.
My summer pasta salad is also extremely versatile. While I’ve listed specific ingredients below, I encourage you to get creative if you don’t have a certain ingredient on hand. You don’t have whole-wheat fusilli? No worries! You could virtually substitute that with whatever pasta you have on hand. Out of parmesan cheese? Try adding shredded mozzarella or nutritional yeast to make this a vegan salad. Want to add some protein? Throw in a cup of cooked shrimp or a can of tuna!
The point is, when you find a dish as easy, light, and versatile as this summer pasta salad, you’d be remiss to cast it aside. As an additional note, I always try to use organic ingredients and encourage you to do the same!
SUMMER PASTA SALAD INGREDIENTS
- 2 cups whole wheat fusilli
- 1 cup diced cherry tomatoes
- 2 cups arugula
- 1 zucchini, diced
- ½ cup green onion
- Juice from two lemons
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
SUMMER PASTA SALAD COOKING INSTRUCTIONS
- Add pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain the excess water and add pasta back into the pot.
- In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Once well-mixed, pour over the pasta. Stir on low heat until the pasta starts to absorb the lemon juice and olive oil mixture.
- Add the arugula. Once the arugula starts to wilt transfer the pasta from the stove to a large serving bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients including the cherry tomatoes, zucchini, green onion, and top with parmesan cheese.
- Serve and enjoy!