Here is a simple salad, colourful and high in nutrients.

Try using a whole wheat penne or vegetable pasta for interesting texture and increased fibre. Bright-red tomatoes contrast with celery and cucumbers to make this a light, easy-to-prepare and easy-on-the-budget summer meal.

It can be served warm, right after mixing, or be kept in the refrigerator to feed family members on the go.

Add cooked, cubed chicken to make Chicken Primavera.


Pasta Primavera

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups cooked pasta, whole wheat penne or vegetable rotini

¼ cup olive oil

1 tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard

¼ cup red wine vinegar

1 clove or ½ teaspoon garlic, minced

½ teaspoon dry oregano

1 stalk celery, sliced on the diagonal

1 firm tomato, cubed

½ cucumber cubed (about 1 cup)

½ teaspoon oregano

½ teaspoon salt

PREPARATION:

• Cook one-and-one-half cups whole wheat or white penne pasta until it is al dente (about six minutes in boiling water).

• Drain pasta and rinse quickly under cold water.

• Transfer pasta to a large bowl.

• Whisk together the dressing ingredients (olive oil, mustard, vinegar, garlic, oregano) and pour over the prepared pasta. Toss to coat.

• Add sliced celery, cucumber and tomato.

• Toss all salad ingredients together lightly.

• Season with salt and pepper.

Variation: Add one cup of cooked, cubed chicken.

Yield = 4 cups