Simple Pasta Salad Recipe

Pasta Salad Reese via Leslie Reese (5)It's hard to believe June is upon us! I don't know where the time goes but it seems like every time I blink, another year goes by! My house is buzzing right now. There are kids home from college, a wedding coming up and people coming and going every day. It's total chaos and I love it! Everyone has a different schedule though so planning meals can be tough with a full house. It's a challenge to keep the pantry and fridge stocked let alone have something prepared when someone needs a quick meal. There are certain things that are great to have on hand during busy times and pasta salad is one of them. It's inexpensive, easy to make in large quantities and tastes great, especially when you have a recipe like the one I am sharing today. It's an old recipe that has been in my family for several generations. My grandma made it, my mom made it and now I make it. It's simple but delicious.

Pasta Salad Reese via Leslie ReeseSmall pasta shells, tomatoes and cucumbers are the main ingredients in this recipe.

Pasta Salad Reese via Leslie Reese (1)It's easy to make. Just boil the pasta, rinse it in cold water and drain.

Pasta Salad Reese via Leslie Reese (2)Add chopped cucumber and tomato.

Pasta Salad Reese via Leslie Reese (3)Toss with McCormick Salad Seasoning, onion powder and Wishbone Italian Dressing.

Pasta Salad Reese via Leslie Reese (4)That's it. It doesn't get much easier!

Keep it simple and enjoy!

Leslie xo

Simple Pasta Salad Recipe
Author: adapted from Anne Krayvo's recipe
  • 1 pound small pasta shells
  • 1 large tomato chopped fine
  • 1 cucumber diced
  • onion powder
  • 1/2 bottle of McCormick Salad Seasoning
  • 1 large bottle Wishbone Italian Dressing
  • Croutons (optional)
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and place in a large bowl.
  2. Toss cooked pasta with Salad Seasoning and Dressing.
  3. Add a sprinkle of onion powder and stir.
  4. Add cucumber and tomato and toss until combined.
  5. Add croutons.
  6. Refrigerate.
  7. Serve cold.

Homemade Manicotti

ManicottiI love pasta.  Whether it's a bowl of linguine or a plate of lasagna, it's all good to me. Most of the time I will make a simple dish like penne or spaghetti with marinara sauce but once in a while, when I have some time, I'll make something a little more involved like homemade manicotti. Instead of using store bought pasta I make crepes. They are actually easier to fill and they taste so much better. I'll show you how I made mine.

Homemade_ManicottiI have a basic crepe recipe I use for both sweet crepes and manicotti. There are only a few ingredients. If I am making sweet crepes I add sugar. Homemade_Manicotti (1)I like to add different ingredients to the crepe mixture for a little extra flavor. It's fun to be creative here. I have been in the mood for basil lately so I decided to add some to this batch. By the way, these cool scissors make cutting fresh herbs so much easier. If you chop a lot of herbs, I highly recommend getting a pair! Homemade_Manicotti (2)I do not use a crepe pan. I use a large frying pan that is brushed lightly with olive oil and a tiny bit of butter. I keep the heat low so the crepes don't burn or stick. I pour the crepes the same way I would pour a pancake but I make them much thinner. I flip them with a regular spatula. Homemade_Manicotti (3)A thinner crepe makes a lighter, tastier manicotti. Homemade_Manicotti (4)One recipe yielded fifteen 6-7 inch crepes. Homemade_Manicotti (5)I fill the crepes with a blend of cheeses, egg and seasoning.

Homemade_Manicotti (6)Once the crepes are rolled I will bake some and freeze the rest. I like to freeze them without sauce so I can easily take out what I need later.Homemade_Manicotti (7)I will place the remaining manicotti in a greased baking pan that has a layer of sauce on the bottom.Homemade_Manicotti (8)I cover the manicotti with additional sauce and some grated cheese and bake it for about 40 minutes. Homade-ManicottiThere are so many ways to make this great Italian dish. If you have a favorite recipe or fun idea, I would love to hear about it!

Homemade Manicotti
Author: Leslie Reese
  • Basic Crepe Recipe
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • pinch of salt
  • Cheese Filling for Manicotti
  • 1 15 ounce container ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups of your favorite shredded Italian cheese ( I use a blend of mozzarella, provolone, parmesan and asiago)
  • 2 eggs beaten (for thicker cheese filing use 1 egg)
  • salt and pepper
  • Italian seasoning (optional)
  • Additional Ingredients
  • Pasta sauce ( 1 jar or 4 cups of homemade sauce)
  • Grated cheese for topping
  1. Blend all ingredients in mixing bowl beating well. Let batter stand up to an hour for more perfect crepes.
  2. Pour a thin layer of batter into a heated pan that has been brushed lightly with olive oil and butter.
  3. Cook over low heat just until batter comes together to form a crepe.
  4. Flip crepe to cook other side and then carefully lift out of the pan with a spatula and place on a plate.
  5. Repeat until batter is gone.
  6. Blend all ingredients together.
  7. Place a few tablespoons of cheese mixture on top of each crepe and roll.
  8. Line the bottom of a greased pan with your favorite sauce (I use homemade marinara sauce. If using store bought sauce, you will need approximately 1 large jar for 1 batch of crepes.
  9. Cover the crepes with sauce and grated cheese (optional).
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes until the crepes are heated through.


Leslie xo