Ahhhh, summer is finally within reach. The cold days between ones drenched in sun and flower blossoms are becoming few and far between. Everybody wants to be outside, drinking lemonade or Oberon, sprawled across grass that’s never felt softer, exposing skin to the sun it hasn’t seen in quite some time. It’s like greeting an old friend, isn’t it?
But then, spring also brings finals week. Not only do we want to eat something light and refreshing, but we need to eat something that can give us a lot of energy to study all day (inside or outside). Find something else to stress out about because I have found the answer! This pasta salad will fill you up and satisfy your desire for a summer food. So pop a squat underneath that tree outside your window, bring a textbook and enjoy this salad. And your summer!

Serves Eight
For the dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons rice or white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons dill weed
Cracked black pepper, to taste

3 cups uncooked shell pasta, medium-sized
8 asparagus spears, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup sliced green peppers
1/2 cup chopped green (spring) onions

To make the dressing, in a small bowl, add the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, dill weed and black pepper. Whisk to mix evenly. Set aside.
Fill a large pot 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (tender), 10 to 12 minutes, or according to the package directions. Drain the pasta thoroughly and rinse under cold water.
In a small saucepan, cover the asparagus with water. Bring to a boil and cook only until tender-crisp, about 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water.
In a large bowl, add the pasta, asparagus, tomatoes, green peppers, onions and dressing. Toss to mix evenly. Cover and refrigerate. Serve chilled.

Nutritional Analysis (per serving)

Calories 179
Cholesterol 0 mg
Protein 4 g
Sodium 6 mg
Carbohydrate 24 g
Fiber 2 g
Total fat 7 g
Potassium 175 mg
Saturated fat 1 g
Calcium 17 mg
Monounsaturated fat 5 g

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