If you have yet to unleash this culinary treat on your kiddos, then you’re in luck, because kids go absolutely crazy for it!

As if pasta couldn’t get any better, this dish takes the multi-colored pasta and makes it a more complete and hearty meal with the addition of veggies. This tri-color pasta salad recipe is very adaptable, so don’t be afraid to mix it up with whatever you’ve got in your pantry or in your refrigerator. Serve with French bread and enjoy either hot or cold.

Tri-Color Pasta Salad Recipe Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil
1 small red or yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried herbs (basil, marjoram, oregano, thyme, plus a squeeze of lemon juice)
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1-2 c soft vegetables (sliced bell peppers, corn, chopped and salted eggplant, sliced mushrooms, peas, chopped spinach)
1/4 tsp salt
14.5-ounce box of tricolor pasta
1-2 c cut-up hard vegetables (carrots, celery, zucchini, broccoli, or cauliflower)
2 tbsp sour cream
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped

Preparation Method:

1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 3 minutes.

2. Stir in the dried herbs and the garlic and cook for about a minute, and then stir in the soft vegetables and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 4 minutes, stirring often. Turn off the heat and set aside.

3. Boil a pot of water, and cook pasta for 3 minutes. Add the hard vegetables and continue to cook until the pasta is al dente. Reserve 1/2 c of the pasta water, then drain the pasta and vegetables and return them to the pot.

4. Stir the sour cream and 1/2 tsp salt into the pasta, then add 1/2 c of the Parmesan, the basil, and 1/4 c of the pasta water.

5. Stir to combine, add the cooked soft vegetables or leafy greens, and add more pasta water if needed. Serve with more Parmesan on the side.

Recipe adapted from Melissa d’Arabian, photo courtesy of Incidental Cooking

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