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  • Alissa Jackson

Veggie Packed Caprese Pasta Salad

The summer dog days of summer are here, and they are proving to be hot! This cool pasta salad will satisfy your hungry crew after a long hot day. Plus, it is better when allowed to sit and cool, so make it ahead of time, so you're not heating up your kitchen at the end of the day!!

To begin, pick your pasta. I used a chickpea rotini, but you can use whatever pasta tickles your fancy! Get your water on the stove and cook your pasta. Make sure to leave it al dente as you don't want it mushy in your salad. When it is finished cooking, rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking process and begin to cool it down. Put it back in the pot you cooked it in so that the remaining water evaporates.

Next, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and slice up your baby zucchini. Don't cut these too thin as you also don't want them to be mushy. I like to toss the zucchini into a bag, drizzle with two teaspoons of avocado oil and add my Everyday Seasoning. Then shake it like a polaroid picture to thoroughly coat. Next, slice your sun-dried tomato chicken sausage into rounds and throw them into the bag as well. When your oven is preheated, toss the zucchini and sausage on a baking pan and let them roast for about 10 minutes. You'll know they're finished when everything turns golden brown.

Now it is time to roughly chop your bell pepper, half your cherry tomatoes, and thaw out your super sweet corn. Now that your pasta has cooled down, pour it into a big bowl, and add your chopped pepper, tomatoes, and corn. Drain most of the oil off your marinated mozzarella, but be sure not to lose any of the seasonings. Pour the marinated mozzarella with the remaining oil over the pasta and veggies and toss to combine. Next, toss in the roasted zucchini and sausage. Finally, pit your avocados, dice in the skin, and scoop them into your salad. The avocado will incorporate as you serve the salad. (If you make this ahead of time, wait to add the avocados until you're ready to serve it.)

Once plated, add a nice and decorative drizzle of Balsamic Glaze over each serving! This dish is pretty and delicious!! Bon Appetite!

Veggie-Packed Caprese Pasta Salad

1 box of 8oz pasta (your choice, but I used chickpea)

1 package Trader Joe's Sundried Tomato Chicken Sausage sliced

1 package Baby Zucchini sliced

2 teaspoons of Avocado Oil

Everyday Seasoning (season to your liking, but I like quite a bit 1-2 teaspoons)

1 cup of Trader Joe's Super Sweet Cut White Corn Thawed

1 large Red Bell Pepper Chopped

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

1 partially drained Trader Joe's Marinated Fresh Mozzarella Cheese

2 diced avocados

Trader Joe's Balsalmic Drizzle for each dish

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