Sometimes, when the heat is too much, a chilled pasta salad is perfect for the summer. A green salad may be too weak, and a full hot meal might be too much. For filling your tummy and avoiding the extra sweating, I recommend this simple pasta salad recipe I put together last week. Plus, when you make too much (and you will), this dish makes a delicious and easy lunch for the next few days. It’s supposed to be eaten cold, so the refrigeration won’t ruin the taste.
Dish Ingredients: 1 Box of Penne Rigante, 1 Package of Johnsonville Chicken Sausage with Chipotle Peppers and Monterey Jack Cheese, 1 Cucumber, 1 Package of Baby Spinach, and 4 Sweet Peppers.
Sauce Ingredients: Salt, Black Pepper, 1 Lime, Olive Oil, and Smart Balance Butter.
1. Boil water. Once the water is exploding appropriately, dump in the box of Penne Rigante.
2. As the pasta cooks, place all four Johnsonville sausages in a hot pan on the stove. While occasionally rotating, cook sausages for approximately 10 minutes on high heat. Once the sausage begins to bubble, remove from the stove, slice on a cutting board, and let cool.
3. Without using the seeds, slice four sweet peppers into bite-size pieces. Place in a mixing bowl. I like to use red, yellow, and orange sweet peppers to add color and depth to the dish.
4. Chop the baby spinach into small pieces, removing the stems. Then, slice a cucumber and chop each slice into four small wedges. Add the spinach and cucumber to the mixing bowl with the sweet peppers.
5. Melt one medium-size spoonful of Smart Balance butter in the microwave. In a mixing bowl, squeeze one lime. Then, add salt, pepper, the melted butter, and 1/2 cup of olive oil. Mix all of these ingredients together, preferably with a whisk.
6. Once the pasta is cooked, drain into strainer. Then, place drained pasta into large bowl and add 3/4 of the sauce mixture. Stir until pasta is completely and evenly covered, and then, place into refrigerator. Place sliced sausage into small bowl and put into refrigerator. Place mixing bowl with chopped vegetables into the refrigerator, too. Leave all three bowls in for approximately 20 minutes to cool.
7. After 20 minutes, remove all three bowls from the refrigerator. Use the last 1/4 of the sauce mixture to lightly dress the vegetables. Then, mix the pasta, sliced sausage, and vegetables all together. Serve. Enjoy.