Using shortcuts makes dinner even easier

  • Cook the pasta ahead to make Pasta Primavera even faster.

    Cook the pasta ahead to make Pasta Primavera even faster. Courtesy of Crystal Maleski

 
Updated 4/19/2017 7:32 AM

Dinner time is often the time of day that I have the least amount of time to cook. In order to cook homemade meals for my family I have to resort to a few good shortcuts to get dinner on the table.

When it comes to this Pasta Primavera recipe there are lots of ways to make it even easier. This recipe calls for lots of cutup veggies, which can take time to prep. Several time savers include chopping them the night before or when you have time during the day, or even buying cut up veggies from the salad bar at your local grocery store.

 
Pasta Primavera can be made with any vegetables you might have on hand.
Pasta Primavera can be made with any vegetables you might have on hand. - Courtesy of Crystal Maleski

Even boiling the water for the pasta can take more time than you have. I often opt for putting a lid on the pot so the water boils faster or cooking the pasta in advance. Although freshly cooked pasta tastes best, I have found that cooking pasta in advance, tossing it with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and keeping it in the refrigerator in a zip style bag works great.

When you are ready to serve just place the pasta in a colander in the sink and run hot water over it. After discovering this shortcut years ago, I now keep precooked pasta in my fridge almost all the time for this recipe or a quick pasta side dish or snack for the kids.

• Crystal Maleski, is a mom of four from Long Grove who shares family favorite recipes, dinner ideas and a printable grocery shopping list each week at www.makedinnereasy.com.

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