Autumn Pasta Salad

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Fall is finally here, and I couldn’t be happier! The months that end in -ember are my favorite for a multitude of reasons – crisp weather, holidays that emphasize gathering, and most importantly, good food.  I always appreciate good food, but what I love even more than delicious dishes are the memories we make around the table. Food provides us the opportunity to gather and acts as a catalyst for creating memories amongst co-workers, family, and friends. It not only provides us nourishment and satisfaction, but it provides us with experiences.

October is National Pasta Month, and in celebration of my favorite season, I’ve teamed up with San Giorgio Pasta to show you the recipes I’m bringing to the table this Fall! You all know I’m passionate about community, and San Giorgio has been a part of the community in my home state of PA for over a hundred years — they started in Lebanon, PA, right next door to my hometown of Lancaster!  So I’m ecstatic to partner with San Giorgio to help strengthen communities by creating positive experiences centered around food — and pasta is the perfect dish to fuel positivity and encourage kindness.

San Giorgio also helped nourish communities in our area, putting action to words through their #SanGiorgio4Good Buy a Box, Give a Meal campaign.  With every San Giorgio pasta purchase made from 8/14 – 9/10 , the company donated one serving of pasta to an area food bank! You can read more about the campaign and #SanGiorgio4Good stories on their Facebook Page or at sangiorgio.com/sangiorgio4good!

So about the food….I’m always looking for innovative recipes to satisfy my cravings and budget. Bonus points if they’re able to be easily taylored (ha, see what I did there?) to guests’ diet restrictions. This is why I love dishes like pasta salad. The cost of the dish doesn’t break the bank, the prep and clean-up is easy, the ingredients are totally subjective, AND the recipe can easily be scaled up to fit the needs of large groups.

My inspiration for this dish combines these practical considerations with my aforementioned love for the rich flavors of Fall. To me, autumn means crisp apples, roasted vegetables, and tart fruits. So, I decided to make a pasta salad that reflects just that.

The inspiration kinda hit me as I was walking through the grocery store and saw a bottle of Cranberry Balsamic Vinaigrette. The tart flavor of cranberry is hallmark of the holiday season in my mind, so I started to think of other flavors, textures, and ingredients that would pair well with it. For protein, I decided on chickpeas/garbanzo beans. They’re vegetarian, and their flavor is malleable, taking on the flavors of those ingredients they’re paired with. The next logical leap my mind took was to add in green peas.

But the recipe needed substance, diversity, and color. Cue the spinach, acorn squash, and apples. I love apples so that was a no brainer – but I also love the concept of apples in a pasta salad because they can totally change the flavor profile depending upon what type of apples you choose to use! The spinach added more protein and substance, and the roasting of the acorn squash added a smokiness that puts the Autumn in this Autumn Pasta Salad.

Autumn Pasta Salad

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

I’m sharing a quick and easy Autumn pasta salad, perfect for a work potluck or large gathering!

Yield: 12 people (double the recipe to serve larger parties of ~25 people)

Credit: StylishlyTaylored.com

Ingredients

  • 2 boxes of San Giorgio Pasta, Rotini Pasta
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bag of baby spinach
  • 1 cup cubed acorn squash
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cans of garbanzo beans
  • 2 cans of peas
  • ½ cup of walnuts, whole or chopped
  • 2 apples, sliced or diced
  • 8 fl oz cranberry balsamic vinaigrette
  • Pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Once preheated, place cubed acorn squash on a non-stick pan, sprinkle with salt, and place in oven. Roast for 25 minutes or until soft.
  2. In a large pot, cook 2 boxes of San Giorgio Rotini pasta. When cooked, remove pasta from heat and strain. Transfer cooked pasta into a large bowl and toss with olive oil (or oil of your choosing.) Set aside.
  3. While waiting for acorn squash to roast, slice/dice apples to desired size.
  4. Remove acorn squash from oven and let cool.
  5. After squash has cooled, add squash, garbanzo beans, peas, spinach, apples, and walnuts into the large bowl containing cooked pasta.
  6. Toss all ingredients with cranberry balsamic vinaigrette.
  7. Garnish with a pinch of salt, if desired.
  8. Enjoy right away or chill until ready to serve!

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Good food fuels good people, and good people fuel strong communities. Whether you’re a mentor, volunteer, parent, or best friend — grab a box of San Giorgio, try your hand at this Autumn Pasta Salad, and keep spreading the kindness. Be sure to share pictures of how you’re using #SanGiorgio4Good this Fall by hash-tagging your photos and tagging me, @stylishlytaylored!

Still hungry? Stay tuned for more of my favorite Fall recipes using San Giorgio pasta!  

Can’t wait? Be sure to check out some of my other RECIPES for more kitchen-creation inspiration.

Don’t feel like cooking? Don’t sweat it. Check out my recent EATS for quality spots to hit up for those days when you’re not feelin’ so creative.

 

Until next time, keep cooking!

Xoxo,

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This is a sponsored post by San Giorgio Pasta, however, all views and kitchen creations are my own!

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