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Greek Pasta Salad

It’s still August, Summer isn’t over yet! It’s still hotter n’ all get out around here in Southern Indiana, and in my mind, Summer isn’t over until the last cookout (aka Labor Day)! However, I don’t know about you, but we grill all year around here. Rain, sunshine, snow and sleet 😂. There’s a reason we had a covered deck built.  What we grill during those colder months are different than what we grill in the warmer months though. There aren’t any hamburgers, or ribs, or corn on the cob, or noodle salads. Usually, we are grilling things like steak and pork chops, and the grilling is a lot rare of an occurrence than in the warmer months too.

For now though, it’s still Summer! So lets get the barbecue on, because I’ve got a wonderful pasta salad to go with whatever you are grilling, and it makes a lot so it’s perfect for a cookout with friends and family. What’s better than hanging out friends and family and sharing awesome food?! Nothing, that’s what.

Before I show you how to make this lovely, easy, and so flavorful salad, a big thanks goes out to Katya over at Little Broken for the amazing Greek Vinaigrette that I use in this salad.

You want to start by getting a big pot of water to a boil, and then adding your pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package directions and then drain and run under cold water to cool. While that’s going on, you can prep your veggies.

Once you have everything chopped up, toss your veggies, olives and feta together in a very large bowl.  Add the cooled, cooked pasta, and toss together.

Then make a batch of the dressing, which consists of olive oil, red wine vinegar, pressed garlic, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper. Pour that over the salad, and toss to coat completely. It is now ready for the fridge. Cover your salad and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Because pasta likes to soak up dressings like this one while it sits, I make a second batch of the dressing and have it ready in the fridge. Then when it comes time to serve, I pour my reserved dressing over the salad, and toss again to coat. Delicious!

Print Recipe
Greek Pasta Salad Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Salads
Cuisine Greek
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Salads
Cuisine Greek
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and run under cold water to cool; set aside.
  2. While pasta is cooking, prep vegetables. Toss onion, cucumber, tomatoes, olives and feta together in a very large bowl. Add cooked pasta, toss together and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the vinaigrette ingredients. Pour over pasta mixture, and toss well to coat. Cover and refrigerate salad for at least 2 hours before serving.
  4. In another bowl, or a mason jar, combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients again. Whisk to combine well, or put lid on jar and shake to combine. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve the salad. Just before serving, shake or whisk reserved dressing, and pour over pasta salad. Toss to coat, and serve.
Recipe Notes

I make a reserved batch of the vinaigrette, because the pasta tends to soak up a lot of the dressing as it sits. Adding additional dressing before serving will make sure your salad isn't dry, and of course bring extra fresh flavor.

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Penne Marinara Casserole with Brown Sugar Bourbon Smoked Sausage

Ever find yourself without a plan for dinner? I’m a planner, it’s what I do. I have to have a plan for just about everything and that includes dinner. Sometimes though, plans fall through, or I forgot a minor detail that turns out to be a huge big deal! This is how this Penne Marinara Casserole with Brown Sugar Bourbon Smoked Sausage was born. My plan for dinner fell through because of a few forgotten ingredients and so I found myself at the last minute digging into my freezer and cabinets saying to myself “Now what?!” Since I live way out in the countryside, just jumping in the car and going to the store for forgotten items just isn’t all that feasible, or appealing. 😂

This turned out to be great though! It wasn’t a disaster at all. My kids gobbled this casserole up, and I gotta say, I enjoyed it too. You can use any variety of sausages in this casserole, but the Brown Sugar Bourbon Smoked Sausage is what I had on hand. I really liked the subtle sweetness it gave the dish. It’s not overpowering at all, just a background sweetness. You’ve just got to try it! Here’s how to make it! It’s easy peasy!

First you want to get your water going for your pasta, and cook your pasta according to the directions on the package. Just until al dente (cooked, but firm to the bite). While that’s doing it’s thing, you can brown up your ground beef (or turkey if you prefer) along with your onion and garlic. Once the beef is cooked, then just slice your sausages into coins, like above. Toss that in the skillet with the beef.

Toss your pasta sauce and seasonings in along with your sausage and stir it up to combine. Then just let it simmer and heat through while your pasta finishes cooking. Once the pasta is done, drain it and return it to the pot.

Take your meat mixture, and dump that in with your pasta and give it a good stir.

Transfer the pasta to your prepared casserole dish, and top with the cheeses. It is now ready for the oven!

Pop that in a 350 degree oven, and in about 10-15 minutes (or until the cheese is melted and the casserole is heated through) you have a delicious dinner.

Full of two different kinds of meat and cheesy goodness, what more do you need?! Perhaps a fresh, crisp green salad to go along side it wouldn’t hurt. 😉

 

 

Print Recipe
Penne Marinara Casserole with Brown Sugar Bourbon Smoked Sausage Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2 1/2 – 3 quart baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions, until al dente.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef with onion and garlic until beef is no longer pink and vegetables are tender.
  4. Slice sausages into coins, and add to the skillet along with pasta sauce and seasonings. Stir to combine, and let simmer to heat through while pasta finishes cooking.
  5. When pasta is cooked, drain thoroughly and return to pot.
  6. Stir meat mixture into pasta and transfer to prepared baking dish.
  7. Top with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
  8. Bake for 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese melts and heated through.
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