Ah, yes. I can almost see a light at the end of this tunnel that is Arizona summer. I love living here. Don’t get me wrong. Where else can you quite literally bake a sheet of cookies on your car dashboard while you’re enjoying a leisurely, air-conditioned stroll through the mall?

I do find myself struggling with the thought of cooking hot meals by the time September rolls around, but am also pretty freakin’ bored with standard pasta salad.

I’ll always have deep rooted love for our family’s classic recipe, but sometimes mommy needs a little spice in her life. And, you could argue, a lot more veggies. I mean, truth be told, one simply cannot survive on ice cream with melted peanut butter alone.

Although, my idea of heaven has giant bowls as big as my head filled with the stuff. And an entire population of Dave Grohl, James Franco and John Mayer doppelgängers.

Aaaaand, on that note…

Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad
(makes 4 – 6 servings)
4 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 zucchini (chopped)
1 red onion (chopped)
1 green pepper (seeded and chopped)
1 yellow pepper (seeded and chopped)
1 pint grape tomatoes (halved and seeded)
8 oz fusilli pasta
4 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
2 tbsp fresh parsley (chopped)
1/4 cup feta cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.

To make the roasted vegetables, whisk the vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until incorporated. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the dressing in a small bowl. Add the chopped veggies to the large mixing bowl of dressing and toss to coat. Marinate the vegetables for 15 – 20 minutes, tossing occasionally to coat.


Transfer the vegetables to the prepared sheet pan and roast them in the preheated oven for 45 – 50 minutes, or until they’re softened and cooked through.

While the veggies are roasting, cook the pasta to al dente according to the package directions. Drain the cooked pasta, transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.

When the veggies are done roasting, add them to the bowl with the pasta. Add the reserved dressing, basil and parsley and toss to combine. Serve at room temperature topped with a sprinkling of crumbled feta cheese.

Cover any leftovers and refrigerate. (This was also delicious chilled the next day.)

Yup, definitely a new addition to our pasta salad arsenal. And, to my imaginary heaven menu.

I might even share some with my imaginary brooding boy toy friends. Maybe.