THROWBACK THURSDAY: Both of these were made a little over 2 weeks ago –during my 2-day obsession with chilled fresh pasta salads.  Because fresh pasta is SO GOOD.    After picking up and putting down several different kinds of pastas (quinoa, ancient grain, spinach — I wanted something different), I ventured into the refrigerated pasta section.  I was intrigued by both of these pastas (see below) but then went with the fresh penne.  The next day, I couldn’t stop thinking about the first pasta salad, so I had to make another!  The second time, I changed it up and went with the stone ground whole wheat rigatoni because something about the color and shape just drew me — go big or go home.  I hope you have some fresh pasta available so you can try out one or both of these recipes!  Simple, healthy and refreshing.  Perfect for Memorial Day weekend and BBQ’s, no?

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Chilled Fresh Penne Pasta Salad
INGREDIENTS:
9oz fresh penne (I used Marina’s Pasta from the refrigerated section at Whole Foods)
4 cups spinach
1 small can (2.25 oz) sliced olives
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
1/2 zucchini, sliced into crescent moons
1 lemon, juiced
2 Tbsp. good-quality extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cook pasta according to directions.
  2. Drain and cool to room temperature.
  3. Once the pasta has cooled down, toss with the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until ready to be served.
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Chilled Fresh Whole Wheat Rigatoni Pasta Salad
INGREDIENTS:
12 oz fresh stone ground whole wheat rigatoni
1 cup zucchini, peeled into ribbons (about 2 small zucchinis)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 hass avocado, cubed
2 Tbsp. basil, finely chopped
1/4 – 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
3 cups power greens
1 lemon, juiced
1 Tbsp. good-quality extra virgin olive oil
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cook pasta according to directions.
  2. In the meantime, prepare other ingredients: peel the zucchini into ribbons, slice the cherry tomatoes, finely chop the basil, and toast the pine nuts.
  3. When the pasta is done, drain and cool to room temperature.
  4. Once the pasta has cooled down, toss with the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until ready to be served.
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