Summer pastas

Published 11:38 am Friday, June 7, 2024

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“Summertime, summertime, sum, sum, summertime” was a 1958 song by the Jamies. It was their first single and first major hit. The song brings to mind sunshine, beaches, summer fun, and picnics. 

Linda: Let’s think of some easy recipes for summer meals. As the seasons change, so do our appetites. I know that pasta dishes don’t sound like light summer meals. But if we combine them with fresh vegetables from the farmers markets, they are perfect for these sunny days.

Lucy: I found a recipe in one of my favorite sources, “Taste of Home.” Whenever I try their recipes, they are always worth saving. This recipe would be perfect for a summer potluck picnic. It serves 18, and a serving is about 305 calories. It’s hard to find a recipe that can be offered at a picnic that serves so many people. Fresh vegetables are showing up at the markets. I like buying from local farmers.

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Linda: I’m a little picky and don’t care for chickpeas. I think I would leave them out and still have a very tasty salad. I love shrimp in the summer. I discovered a recipe that includes shrimp, pasta, and green beans. It’s from The Food Network Kitchens, which can be intimidating. This is an easy recipe.

I think the key is getting all the ingredients ready for each step in the recipe before you start cooking. Then you can easily proceed step by step

Lucy: Shrimp and green beans are an interesting combination. I think the vinaigrette would make them blend well together. A pasta dish that I’ve been making for years is called Light Italian Spaghetti Primavera. It’s been in my recipe card file and I have no idea where I originally discovered the recipe. I like it because it uses different vegetables instead of a meat sauce. Summertime is the time for recipes calling for fresh vegetables.

Linda: I like all of these recipes. Not only are they healthy and easy, the calories are limited. Watermelons and strawberries are in season. Both would make a perfect dessert to accompany a light pasta dish.

Lucy: I think these will become favorites for our readers. Let’s gather the recipes so they can get cooking. I know the Landrum Farmers Market has been filled with farmers and we haven’t had a spot recently for our cookies and cookbooks. But always check for us because we often fill in for a cancellation.


Potluck Antipasto Pasta Salad

Yield: 18 servings.



1 package (16 ounces) penne pasta

1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 medium sweet red or green pepper, julienned

2 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise and sliced

1 bunch green onions, sliced

4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, julienned

4 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, julienned

4 ounces brick or provolone cheese, julienned

4 ounces thinly sliced hard salami, julienned

3 ounces thinly sliced pepperoni

1 can (2-1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained

1 to 2 tablespoons minced chives

Basil Vinaigrette

2/3 cup canola oil

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 teaspoon salt



Cook pasta according to package directions; rinse with cold water and drain. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, vegetables, cheeses, meats, olives and chives. In a small bowl, whisk the vinaigrette ingredients. Pour over salad; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate. Toss before serving.


Summertime Shrimp and Green Bean Pasta Salad



Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 small shallot, minced

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 pound peeled, deveined medium shrimp

1 cup trimmed, chopped green beans

8 ounces tube-shaped pasta

1/4 cup sliced fresh chives

2 medium vine-ripe tomatoes, chopped



Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Whisk together the vinegar, shallot, 1/3 cup of the oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper in a large bowl. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the shrimp, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Cook the green beans in the boiling water until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the beans to a colander with a slotted spoon and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Add them to the bowl with the dressing. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool; add to the bowl. Add the shrimp, chives and tomatoes to the bowl and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. The pasta salad is best if served right away.


Light Italian Spaghetti Primavera



1 medium Green pepper, chopped

1 medium red pepper, chopped

1 medium yellow squash; cut into strips

1/4 cup onions ; chopped

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

3 Tbs sliced pitted ripe olives

1/2 lb thin spaghetti;

1/2 cup reduced reduced-calorie Italian dressing

3 Tbs Chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella



Prepare thin spaghetti as package directs; drain. In large skillet, combine remaining ingredients except cheese and parsley; simmer just until vegetables are tender-crisp. Serve over hot cooked spaghetti; sprinkle with cheese and parsley. Refrigerate leftovers. Approximately 205 calories per serving