Man, this blogging thing is really fun. After working on a few blog posts, I’m starting to get the hang of it. Lots of work, I can certainly say that. However, it’s all worth it. I hope you’re having as much fun reading the posts as I am creating them!
With this recent warm weather we have been getting, I’ve realized that a part of me is happy that the cold weather is coming to an end, and a part of me still wants to be curled up by the fire with a big blanket wrapped around me like a burrito. I don’t know about all of you, but there’s something that I just love about waking up and seeing bright white all over from the fresh snow that’s just fallen the night before. The hot chocolate, the sweaters, ice-skating. All of it sounds so great when you say it out loud, but in the dead of the bitter cold winter, there are times when I wish I didn’t have to wear a thousand layers…I guess I don’t like everything about winter, but I certainly enjoy it more than most. I sort of have to be okay with the cold weather since I am going to Syracuse next year for college and Syracuse is supposed to be one of the coldest, snowiest cities in the country.
I wish I started my food blog in the wintertime. I could have shared tons of recipes for homemade soups and all of the yummy comfort food we all know and love. Certainly when I’m at college next year there is no way I’m going to be able to keep this blog up. Who knows if I’ll continue it after college, I would certainly like to though.
Going back to the whole weather topic again, don’t think for a second that I am upset about the warm weather. I love summer as well. Not a big fan of all the bug-bites, sunburn, and constant sweating, but hey, I can handle that if it means I can avoid looking like a pale, white ghost for a brief period of time. I also love summer because I work as a camp counselor. It’s a BLAST. You wouldn’t believe how many great stories I have in my back pocket about camp. My campers say the silliest things. I’m even chuckling now as I think about them.
I also can’t forget to talk about all of the wonderful produce that’s going to be in season soon for summer! Cherries, raspberries, bell peppers, zucchini, and tomatoes galore!!!!! This is why I have created a scrumptious pasta salad recipe with vegetables that are in season soon! I realized that my first post had roasted vegetables in it too…I just love the flavor that it brings out in the veggies. Vegetables don’t have to be boring if you season and prepare them right!
This pasta salad has zucchini, yellow squash, red peppers, red onion, and grape tomatoes with a sprinkle of goat cheese on top, so delish. This pasta salad is perfect to take to Ravinia Music Festival, a picnic, or a family BBQ. The dish tastes great hot or cold!
This recipe seems really complex and challenging but it’s actually super easy and comes together pretty quickly. You can roast the vegetables while you’re cooking the pasta to save time. When that’s all done, you mix everything together and you have yourself an awesome pasta salad. If you want your goat cheese to just be crumbled on top like I do, wait for the vegetables to cool down a bit before you add the cheese. Also a trick to make the goat cheese easier to crumble: put it in the freezer for a few minutes to let it harden before you put it on top of the pasta. If you want the cheese to be more incorporated into the dish like a sauce, feel free to add it in while the pasta and vegetables are still warm. I hope you enjoy it if you try it out!
Roasted Vegetable and Goat Cheese Pasta Salad:
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
1/2 lb. (8 oz.) of bowtie pasta
1 zucchini, sliced
1 yellow squash, sliced
1 whole medium red pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup of red onion, cut into 1-inch wedges
1 cup of whole grape tomatoes (yellow or red work)
2 Tbsp. olive oil (plus 1 Tbs. at the end)
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 large garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup (3 oz.) of crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup of pine nuts
1 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a baking tray with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
- In a bowl mix together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, and a 1/4 tsp. of salt and pepper.
- Toss vegetables with mixture in a bowl.
- Place on baking tray and roast for 20 minutes, turning vegetables over in the pan halfway through cooking.
- While vegetables are roasting, make pasta according to the instructions on the box. (You can make the whole pound of pasta and save the rest for another recipe.)
- Add 1 Tbs. of olive oil into the cooked pasta. Mix roasted vegetables, crumbled goat cheese, pine nuts, and chopped basil into the pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
Have a great rest of your week!!!