Perhaps you are like me, a tad exhausted from all the grading you've been doing at the same time you've been fighting off a cold at the same time you've had an uptick in delightful activities.
Perhaps you have an event to attend, a potluck, and you know that everyone will be bringing cookies and someone should bring something with nutritive value. Maybe your household needs something for dinner with nutritive value, something that will provide sturdy leftovers to take with you for lunch the next day.
But maybe you don't feel like cooking--yet you also don't feel like having one more restaurant meal or one more assemblage of take out food or one more chicken from the deli. You need a recipe that doesn't involve much more effort than opening jars and packages and dumping them together.
I have just the recipe. I first discovered it in Mollie Katzen's Still Life with Menu Cookbook, which my mom and dad gave me for Christmas in 1988 or 1989. It's infinitely adaptable: if you have a different size jar, that will work; if you don't have an ingredient, no problem; if you only have 12 oz. of pasta or if you don't have time to marinate, that's cool.
Pasta with Marinated Vegetables
Feel free to adapt the following list to your own tastes and what you can find/afford. Combine the following in a bowl and marinate several hours or overnight or not at all:
1-2 jars or cans of artichoke hearts
1 pound of sliced mushrooms
1-2 packages of cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced if large
1-2 jars of roasted red peppers (or roast your own, if you have time)
1 C. (or more or less) sliced black olives (any type works, from gourmet to regular)
1 tsp. (or more or less) of the following: oregano, basil,
several cloves minced garlic or a sprinkle of garlic powder/salt
1/3 C. olive oil
2-4 T. balsamic or red wine vinegar
When you're ready to assemble, boil a pound of pasta, something smallish, like shells or penne. Drain when done and mix with the veggies. You can top with grated parmesan cheese if you wish and if you're serving hot.
Tastes great at room temperature and straight out of the refrigerator. In terms of food safety, it's perfectly safe to leave it on a buffet table for hours at a time or to take it for lunch and to leave it at room temperature for the day.
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