There are a few things that people consider “summer foods” or perfect for picnics and barbecues that my family has completely mastered. They make these foods so well, mind you, that we now also make them for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, President’s Day… whenever we get the excuse. The first recipe is my mom’s baked beans. (Recipe coming soon!) They are sweet, sticky and bacony. The second, is my grandma’s Shapasta Salad. It’s a very easy pasta salad, like the Italian dressing kind that everyone makes… except it’s so much better. Instead of Italian dressing and everything under the sun, we’re keeping this one really simple. Some creamy poppyseed salad dressing, broccoli & tomatoes and a bit of cheese. That’s it… and it’s amazing. Hope it becomes one of your family-favorites too.
¾ lb dried penne pasta
16 oz poppyseed dressing
6 oz grated parmesan cheese
1 head of broccoli
12 oz cherry tomatoes
Boil pasta. Once al dente, remove to a colander and rinse with cold water.
In the meantime, rinse your tomatoes and broccoli. Cut the broccoli stems off so that all that remains are tiny little segments of broccoli trees.
Combine pasta in a large bowl. Cover in poppyseed dressing and parmesan cheese, tossing to coat.
Chill pasta salad for an hour or two so the dressing melds with the pasta.
You can make this dish in advance, but if you wait too long to serve it, be sure to have some additional dressing on hand as it will dry out a little as it sits.