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Marian Evoniuk | Pedernales EC

Pasta salad is an easy, versatile way to enjoy everything the farmers market has to offer. If you like, you can skip the step of roasting the peppers and asparagus—just make sure you select thin, tender asparagus stalks at the market.

1/4 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, chopped
6 cups plus 1/4 cup water, divided use
2 cups uncooked tricolor rotini
1/2 pound green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups peas
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup loosely packed cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Spread asparagus and pepper evenly over a large, parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Roast uncovered 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

3. Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a 2 1/2-quart heavy saucepan, then add pasta. Cook until pasta is al dente, about 8 minutes.

4. Drain pasta in a colander, rinsing with cold water, and pour into a large mixing bowl.

5. Using same saucepan, add the remaining 1/4 cup water and the green beans. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook 3–4 minutes. Add the peas and continue cooking an additional 3–4 minutes, until veggies are tender but still have some bite. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

6. Into the large bowl containing the pasta, add the asparagus, peppers, green beans, peas, red onion, cucumber, tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, salt, pepper and Italian dressing. Mix well, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Serves 6–8 as a side dish.

April 2020 Recipe Contest