refreshing vegetarian pasta salad

cooking minette's vegetarian pasta salad
the other day i was asked to bring a side dish to my sister’s dinner party. i decided on a vegetarian pasta salad mostly because i was having a busy day, and had to do my cooking a few hours ahead of time (this salad keeps really well up to 4 hours prior to serving). my preference is to serve pasta salads at room temperature (not cold), so this one was allowed to sit on my kitchen counter for a couple of hours before we left the house. it was a beautiful night, and dinner was served outdoors: delicious marinated grilled flank steak, green salad with fennel and arugula, an avocado-tomato salad (inspired by this recipe), and my pasta salad, which provided some starchy substance. the pasta was a big hit-at least with the kids, who were less worried about their waistlines (this is California, after all)!! the adults must have enjoyed it as well….the bowl came home empty. the ingredients (as far as the vegetables) for this salad can be easily substituted based on what you have available or is in season. this is a perfect bring along dish…give it a try-you won’t be disappointed.
tomatoes, basil chiffonade, and home made lemony pesto
ingredients for 6-8 servings:

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orecchiette with (lemony) walnut pesto and roasted butternut squash

for this recipe i’ve combined three of my favorite things to eat: orecchiette pasta (with any sauce, really), fresh home made (lemony) walnut pesto, and roasted butternut squash- they’re being combined to make a light and easy early summer (is it summer yet?) dish that is healthy and really satisfies. roasted butternut squash is amazingly flavorful, hearty, and somewhat sweet-you can add it to any salad, eat it with quinoa or brown rice, or add it to almost any creamy soup for an additional burst of flavor. Continue reading
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