Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Jig Is Up

Thatboy saw me typing up the post yesterday and remarked that I was posting our corned beef and cabbage from last year. I gave him a funny look - "Well I can't exactly post our corned beef from this year! It hasn't been made yet!"

And in truth, it's not getting made till this weekend.

Before Thatdad died, we would celebrate Thatmom's St. Patrick's Day birthday the weekend before or after the exact date. But since Thatdad's death, we all get together on the actual day itself. And years and years of a St. Patrick's Day birthday have taken their toll on Thatmom. We avoid all green and Irish foods on that day, opting instead for her favorite cuisine - Italian.

So, torn between a mother and a husband, I do what any good wife would do. We celebrate my mom's birthday with her, and St. Patrick's Day the weekend after.

Tonight we dine on Italian food. And in honor of that, and the beautiful spring weather we're having, I present to you an Italian twist on a sunny day classic. This is one of my favorite beach day snacks, and we've been hitting up the beach lately, even though it's really still a little cold for that nonsense.

It's a combination of antipasto and pasta salad - filled with cheese, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and olives. Since I don't love mayo in a pasta salad, I subbed in some ranch dressing instead. It works even better!

Italian Pasta Salad
3/4 cup ranch dressing
8 oz pasta
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup artichoke hearts, quartered
1 zucchini, diced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup peas, shelled
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pitted and halved kalamata olives

1. Cook pasta. Before straining, place broccoli in the strainer and pour the pasta and water over the broccoli.
2. Place all ingredients in a bowl and add the ranch dressing.
3. Toss to coat and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.


  1. Just tell everyone you are getting a head start on St. Joseph's Day which is tomorrow :-). Your pasta looks wonderful and everyone will enjoy it. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  2. This is definitely a beach salad if ever I've seen one! Love it.

    I'm sure ThatMom will adore it! Wish her a happy bday for me!

  3. Your Irish-Italian is showing! And everyone is Irish today even when serving spaghetti - it's pasta that's lyrical. And this pasta sings sweetly.

  4. I see the colour green in there so you still have the luck of the Irish. Happy Birthday to That Mom!!I'm sure it will be a special day.

  5. This + some bacon=my idea of a heavenly lunch!!

  6. I think that is sweet of you guys to push off St. Patricks Day celebration in consideration of the mom.
    And I've been swarmed with St. Patricks' recipes today, so yours is a nice breather! :-)

  7. Sounds like a wonderful birthday celebration!

  8. The pasta dish look really nice. A dish I would really enjoy.

    Your a good daughter. And it is kind of cool, to be celebrate St. Patty's Day a week later. Look at all those ideas/recipes that have been posted.