Rhythm. It’s the stuff that our days are made of. It makes things regular and predictable and gives us a sense of calm, even when chaos threatens.
Finding a rhythm when something changes always take a little time. When Will started kindergarten in September, it took a couple of weeks back in to find the right morning rhythm. Ok. Maybe it was a couple months.
Right now? I am trying to find my own new rhythm. Recently, I started a new job with a company I love. It’s part-time and includes some office hours for me — something I haven’t had in nearly three years. I’m still freelancing as well and developing new recipes. Meanwhile, I am seeking that new balanced rhythm that keeps me calm, sane and focused to get everything done that needs doing. I hope I find it soon.
When you are seeking a new rhythm, basic things like making lunch or having side dishes planned and ready to go can be a challenge. That’s where simple, easy, tasty and versatile dishes come in. Dishes like this Balsamic Pasta Salad.
Sweet bell peppers, vinaigrette-soaked broccoli, soft but firm pasta and salty olives combine with a sweet-tart homemade balsamic vinaigrette. It’s summery, balanced and so fresh.
And when you are stressed about dinner or worried about getting all your work done or wondering what you will pack for your child’s lunch, having a batch of this in the fridge ready to go is a huge blessing.
More Pasta Salad Recipes:
What’s your go-to dish to keep on hand when things get hectic?
- 1 lb. rotelle pasta
- 2 cups (generous) broccoli florets (cut into 1" chunks)
- 1 14- oz can artichoke hearts, , drained and chopped
- 1 sweet bell pepper, (red, orange or yellow), chopped
- 1/2 cup black olives, , chopped
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 tsp dry ground mustard
- salt and pepper
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. You want to cook it about a minute past al dente for a softer texture, since it will firm when cooled. Drain well and add to a large bowl.
- Chop the artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers.
- Add the artichoke hearts, sweet bell peppers, broccoli and olives to the pasta and mix well.
- Pour the dressing in and stir to coat. Chill for at least 30 minutes — until ready to serve.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.