I rediscovered one of my “go-to” summer dishes this past weekend. A friend had organized an end-of-school celebration for the kids on Sunday and each family was asked to bring a dish to share. Well, I was out all day on Saturday for various things, so I had less than an hour to shop and make a dish before we were heading out on Sunday. (The dish also needed to be able to hold up well in the heat, since the gathering was at an outside park.) I immediately thought “pasta primavera”. All I needed to pick up was the pasta and a bag of frozen mixed vegetables since I already had the other two ingredients – Italian dressing and Parmesan cheese. This dish is easy to make and a consistent crowd pleaser. We took most of it to the outing and saved the rest for a dinner that we were hosting at our home later that night. (We just added some crockpot chicken on the side for the dinner and we were all set!) Since kids like this dish as much as adults, you might want to make this one of your “go to” dishes also!
Quick and Easy Pasta Primavera
Yield: 6 -8 servings
• 12 oz box of tri-color rotini
• 16 oz bag of frozen mixed vegetables
• ¼ cup Italian dressing
• ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated (plus additional cheese to serve with the dish)
• Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Prepare the rotini in salted water according the package directions.
2. Place the frozen vegetables in the bottom of a colander.
3. When the pasta is ready to be drained, drain it in the colander over the frozen vegetable. (The heat from the boiling water will thaw the vegetables, making it unnecessary to heat them separately.)
4. (Optional step) Run hot water over the pasta and vegetable mixture for a couple of minutes so that the pasta will taste less starchy.
5. Toss the pasta and vegetables together and place them in a large bowl or dish. Add the dressing, cheese, salt and pepper. Mix everything together well.
That’s it! You are finished. This dish is very versatile. It can be served at room temperature, chilled or warmed up. I like to serve the dish along with Parmesan cheese so that my diners can sprinkle additional cheese on top of their pasta if desired.