Monday, September 17, 2012

Summer Pasta Salad

I don't know why, but this year I'm so excited for fall. Maybe it's because I'm back in the Midwest and fall time in Michigan was always my favorite time of the year. I think I have high expectations for fall in central Illinois although I'm guessing it may not be quite as wonderful. There aren't really as many trees and it'll probably be mostly sowed corn fields everywhere. But, nothing beats the weather. I love mornings and evenings when you need a jacket to be outside, but days that warm under the sun. There is a slight breeze, but nothing close to the bone-chilling wind that the winter will inevitably bring. The humidity is almost non-existent.

It makes me want to pick apples, carve pumpkins and go for long walks.

Plus the cooking gets wonderful in the fall. Pumpkins and other fall squashes. Apples. Stews and rich soups. Roasted chicken. Turkey. Casseroles. And more.

But before we jump into fall, we have to celebrate the last few days/weeks of summer produce. Like this summer pasta salad that is full with perfect tomatoes and zucchini. It is a creamy pasta salad, but some of the heavy mayo is replaced with Greek yogurt. It keeps it light and refreshing.

So get out there and stock up on the end of summer produce before autumn completely takes over.

What are you looking forward to most as we change seasons?

Summer Pasta Salad (adapted from SkinnyTaste)
1 cup mini shells (or other small pasta)
1 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1 small zucchini, sliced and quartered
1/2 small onion, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
3 tbsp light mayo
2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
dash of oregano
dash of freshly ground black pepper
dash of garlic powder

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water.

Combine the pasta with the tomatoes, zucchini and onion in a bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients. Pour onto the pasta and mix thoroughly to combine.

Chill for at least an hour. Serve cold.

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