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I am a sucker for new products.  I’m a marketer’s dream.  You put a cool package or a trendy idea in front of me, and I eat it up.  I was probably the only 8 year old in America who begged and begged for the Super Slicer for Christmas.  I’ve actually bragged about paying the insane markup on SmartWater, completely convinced of it’s priceless powers to prevent hangovers.  I buy every product Apple releases, regardless of how redundant it is–what do you mean you don’t need an iPhone and an iPod? Or a MacBook and an iPad?

So there.  That was your warning.

Now I’m going to tell you about my new favorite product. And no, this isn’t sponsored.  I don’t even have readers yet, how could I have sponsors?

Ronzoni Garden Delight Pastas!

This pasta has a full serving of vegetables in every bowl!  (See it says so on the fancy package) Does this make pasta that much healthier?  I don’t know.  I’m not a nutritionist, but common sense would tell me “yes, definitely!”. And that’s all the affirmation a product junkie like myself needs to buy buy buy!

In honor of my new product, I’ve created a twist on a classic pasta salad to get you through the end of summer.  Let’s be honest, by mid August, you might die if you eat another bite of a mayonnaise based salad anyway.  Might as well try something new! 🙂

The Specs

Pasta: Combo of Ronzoni Garden Delight Penne and Barilla Whole Wheat Shells
Dressing: Pesto, Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar
Add Ins: Fresh Mozarella, Roasted Red Peppers, Tomatoes, Cannellini Beans, Arugula  Parmesan
 

The Ingredients

1 lb of pasta — I combined Ronzoni Garden Delight Penne and Barilla Whole Wheat Shells
3 tbsp Pesto
3 tbsp Olive Oil
3 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
2 tsp Sugar
1 c. Fresh Mozarella, cut into small cubes
1 c. Roma Tomatos, seeded and diced
1/2 c. Roasted Red Peppers, cut into small pieces
1 c. Arugula, cut into small pieces
1 8oz can Cannellini Beans (Small White Beans), Drained and Rinsed
1/4 c. Parmesan Cheese
 

The Instructions

1.  In a large pot, bring water to a boil.  Salt boiling water generously.  (Just a tip:  If the water doesn’t taste like salt water, the pasta won’t pick up the salt)  Add the pasta and cook until al dente.  Add in the cannellini beans a few minutes before the pasta is finished.  When pasta and beans are finished, drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking process.
2.  While the pasta is cooking, prepare your add ins by chopping according to instructions in the Ingredients section.
3. To make the dressing, whisk vinegar, oil, pesto, and sugar together.  The ingredients above should make about 1/2 c. of dressing.  You can make more or less depending on how much pasta you’ve used and how dressed you like your pasta salad to be.
 
4.  When pasta is cooled, dump in the add ins with the dressing and toss together.  Season with salt and pepper if needed.  If your pesto is very salty, you may not need to season.  Cover and refrigerate until cold.

Serving Tip: If the pasta gets dry before you serve it, add additional olive oil or balsamic to taste and toss.

 
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