Easy Pasta Side Dishes for Summer Meals

Pasta dishes are healthy and easy to throw together. You can use fresh produce either from your own garden or a local farmer’s market to prepare these quick pasta meals.

You can also serve pasta with many different main dishes, such as fish, pork chops, or grilled chicken. Fresh fruit and some garlic bread would make great additions to these easy meals. Any leftovers can be saved for the next day to make a quick lunch.


Lemon and Garlic Pasta



1/2 lb. thin spaghetti                                           1 tsp. grated lemon zest

2 cloves garlic                                                    2 tsp. lemon juice

1/4 c. olive oil                                                     1 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. butter                                                      1/4 tsp. pepper

1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley


Cooking Instructions:

Cook pasta in boiling, salted water until done; drain and return to the hot sauce pan. Mince the garlic. In a small pan, heat the olive oil and butter. Add the minced garlic and cook 1 minute. Toss the garlic, oil, parsley, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper with the pasta.


Spaghetti Salad



1 small pkg. thin spaghetti, cooked,   2 tomatoes, chopped
and rinsed under cool water                         1 (8 oz.) bottle Italian dressing

1 red onion, chopped                                         1 pkg. Italian dressing

1 green pepper, chopped                                   Parmesan cheese, grated


Cooking Instructions:

Prepare spaghetti and add remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top until covered.


Florentine Penne



1 (12 oz.) box whole-wheat penne pasta           1 (8 oz.) package fresh sliced mushrooms

2 (16 oz.) bags frozen spinach                          2 (3.8 oz.) cans sliced black olives

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil                 6 cloves pressed or minced garlic


Cooking Instructions:

Cook pasta as directed, then drain. While pasta is cooking, place spinach in a colander and run it under cold water until thawed. Press out water and set aside. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and saute mushrooms, olives, garlic for 10 to 15 minutes, until mushrooms are cooked. Add the spinach to the sauteed mixture. Combine cooked pasta with sauteed vegetables and cook for an additional 5 minutes.


Spaghetti With Green Sauce



1 pkg. (16 oz.) thin spaghetti or vermicelli

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

1/2 c. minced basil leaves

1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 c. minced parsley

1/4 c. butter or margarine, softened

1 medium clove garlic, crushed

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

1/4 c. olive oil

2/3 c. boiling water


Cooking Instructions:

Cook pasta according to package directions.
Mix remaining ingredients together. Toss pasta
and sauce together. Place on platter or in large
bowl. Sprinkle with cheese, if desired.


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