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Twink's Treats: Spring in Your Pasta

Twink's Treats: Spring in Your Pasta

Thankful. Grateful. Appreciative. Optimistic.  Four powerful words, and all four describe how I felt this past weekend.  Thankful for wonderful family and friends, grateful for the many blessings, both big and small bestowed on me, appreciative for all the love and support we have from each other, and as always – optimistic about tomorrow!  And a bonus -this past weekend’s weather was picture perfect.  Deep blue skies, not a cloud in sight; cool mornings and warm sunny afternoons – spring in all God’s glory.  

There’s something about the weather that correlates directly with the way I want to cook. With the spring weather, I think about lighter recipes, differentiating from the way I normally cook in the fall and winter.  We love pasta year-round, but in the spring I like to lighten it up – prepare it a little differently, like a good pasta salad with a vinegar-based dressing.  This recipe is so versatile and can be used as a side dish or even a main dish by adding some cooked, chopped chicken to it.  It goes with everything and is especially good with grilled chicken, pork, barbeque, hamburgers or fish. Here’s my version:

Party Pasta Salad
1 pound box tri-color rotini pasta, cooked and drained
1 cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped red, green or yellow pepper
1 cup or more, to taste, sliced black or Kalamata olives
2 cups crumbled feta cheese
1 jar artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

Vinaigrette Dressing:
¾ cup olive oil
½ cup apple cider vinegar
Juice of one lemon
Salt, pepper and oregano
Mix all ingredients in jar and shake well.

In large bowl, mix together pasta, celery, peppers, olives, and artichoke hearts.  Add in feta cheese. Pour vinaigrette dressing over pasta salad.  Mix well, and adjust, adding more salt or vinegar to taste. Chill and enjoy.  Keeps in refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days. 

Until next time, be kinder than necessary – and be thankful, grateful, appreciative and optimistic!!!
-Twink

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