Picnic Pasta!

Just a real quick post for a Friday night.  I meant to post this a few weeks back, when the weather was balmy and I was sure that spring (and picnic weather) had arrived for good.  Joke’s on me I guess, seeing as we went from 80 to 30 degrees in a 24 hour period.  But that’s what spring is, I suppose- as uncertain and changeable as the appetite of my three-year -old.

But I digress.  Enough about the weather. Bring on the food!

I call this my Picnic Pasta, because it is an all in one sort of meal that is quick to throw in a basket with some paper plates and plastic forks, and I find it a little more exciting than sandwiches.  But we eat it at many other events as well, particularly potlucks.  And like all pasta salads, it can be made with an infinite variety of ingredients.  This is just how I (and my kiddos) like it best.

Lots of peppers, tomatoes, meat and cheese!

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Start by boiling a big pot of water.  When it’s roiling along, add 1 lb. of pasta- your choice.  I like to use penne rigate because it is easy to spear with a fork, or for little fingers just to grab.  It’s a picnic food, after all.

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While that is boiling (about ten minutes) chop up your veggies, meat (usually some form of salami) and cheese. (I had cheddar in my fridge, but blue cheese is nothing to sneeze at)  Don’t you love the colors?  And if I had my way, there would be some red onion added to the spectrum, but I am usually out voted.

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When the pasta is done, drain it and run it under cold water so it doesn’t get all sticky and mushy.

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Then just throw it all in a bowl and toss.  So easy!  And if you are really going for easy, pack a bottle of ranch dressing along side it.

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But for those of you who want a little something extra special, toss the salad with this french vinaigrette I posted a while back.  Just be sure to double it.  A little avocado wouldn’t go amiss here either, but make sure you add it at the last minute, since it turns brown very quickly.  It is such a yummy combo!

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Either way- enjoy at a picnic, a potluck, or on your own private patio.  (I like alliteration. Sorry.)

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