Is it hot where you are? It’s hot where I am…WAY too early in the summer if you ask me…and it’s nice and humid, too. This makes me cranky, partly because my hair decides to sulk about the heat in its own creative way, and partly because I can’t bring myself to turn on the oven, and I love and adore my oven. That’s when this cool, soothing version of pasta primavera comes to the rescue. As long as I can bring myself to turn on the stove to boil the water, I’m home free…it’s all nice cold pasta salad sailing from there!
You can use any old short pasta you have in your cabinet – ziti, elbows, rotini will all work just fine – but I recently discovered a new pasta shape called cavatappi. It looks like a cross between a little baby tuba and a conch shell, and it’s just perfect for drinking up whatever delicious sauce or dressing you have going on. So that’s what I used for this supper, and it helped even more with my hazy hot and humid crankiness. It’s the little things!
Once you have the pasta cooked, cool it down under some cold running water, and then toss it with a quick dressing of lemon zest and juice mixed with a teeny bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. Now all you have to do is stir in some veggies…anything you have on hand would be fine, but I used peas, cherry tomatoes and some cucumber that I cut into nice little strips. Some fresh chopped dill, a generous handful of feta cheese, and I was back to feeling like this.
(Disclaimer: that is not me. I’m related to him though, and he also makes me feel less cranky just by looking at him.)
And with that, let me hand over the only pasta primavera recipe you’ll ever need for sultry summer evenings.
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
8 ounces cooked short pasta, such as elbows, rotini or cavatappi
1 English cucumber, sliced into 2 inch sticks
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup frozen baby peas
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1. Make dressing by whisking lemon zest, juice, oil and salt and pepper together.
2. Cool pasta by running under cold water. Drain well, and mix with dressing.
3. Add all remaining ingredients, toss well and serve.
Soba Noodles with Edamame  from Framed Cooks
Classic Pasta Primavera  from Simply Recipes
Zucchini Pasta with Ricotta  from Framed Cooks