Easiest Pasta Salad Ever

When I dropped Batman off at playschool today, he was in tears.

I’m not talking a lone tear glistening down his cheek as he wistfully glanced back over his shoulder and waved. Oh no. We’re talking full-blown freak out. This was totally new for him. Maybe he was tired from Bug’s birthday this weekend?

I knew it was going to be tough when he got up this morning. Hubby had left for work early, and Batman was in tears.

“What’s wrong, buddy?”

Batman-“Daddy *sob* didn’t say good-bye to me *sobsob* and I didn’t get to give him a hug and kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiss.”

So, we called Hubby at work and that seemed to be the end of it.

Until we got to playschool.

Besides Rose, Ari the other little girl that I regularly watch while her parents are at work. (Ari, Rose, and Batman all go to the same playschool 2 days a week). Today, while we were all climbing out of the van, Ari asked to hold my hand. So I shifted Bug on my hip and grabbed her hand. Any other day, this act would have been acceptable….

Not today.

Batman was again in tears. “I wanted to hold your hand!” He was heartbroken. No amount of reasoning or rearranging so that everyone could hold hands could bring calm to the injustice he felt was done to him. For the first time, I walked into school with a crying little boy.

Now, I know that I have been INCREDIBLY lucky to have thus far avoided a public meltdown. Batman was just not really a crier with stuff like this. So when it happened today, I was completely unprepared. We sat down at the tables in the lobby and I tried everything to calm him down enough to go to class. Hugs. Reasoning. Distraction. Flat out bribery. Nothing was working. Rose’s mom stepped in and tried to help. Nothing. The boy was inconsolable. By this point the lament had switched to “but mommy I don’t want to miss you”. Ooofta. Right in the feels. Eventually, the teacher and I were able to get him to walk to the bubbler and make his way into the classroom.

So I left. Fast. Before he changed his mind.

I felt terrible. Like I had abandoned him in his time of need. What sort of monster does that?

I knew, of course, that rationally I had done the right thing. Emotionally though? Train wreck. So I called to check on him right when I got home. The teacher presumably thought I was nuts…I only live 3 minutes away by car if I don’t hit any street lights. The verdict? He was perfectly fine. Tears and mom completely forgotten and schooling everyone on how he learned that cheetahs are the fastest land animal but peregrine falcons are even faster.

Now there’s my Batman.

Okay, so: pasta salad.

Cool, tangy goodness.

Cool, tangy goodness.

I love this pasta salad because 1) it’s delicious, and 2) it takes no effort beyond chopping and stirring to achieve such deliciousness. It’s a great dish to make while you’re running around making 10 other things for a picnic or a party. It’s pasta salad, so it’s enough to feed a crowd, and since it’s not mayo based, it’s perfect for any outdoor events where you might otherwise worry about spoilage.

The dressing that I use in this recipe is Olive Garden’s Italian dressing. It’s delicious. I buy it from Sam’s club in a two pack. If you can’t find it, feel free to sub in another Italian dressing, but this one is worth the hunt.

Zucchini and tomato pair perfectly

Zucchini and tomato pair perfectly

The veggies I added were what I happened to have on hand. Really though-throw in any damn veggie you like. When I have it, I love to throw in broccoli and yellow squash as well. Anything that’s in season or on sale, go for it. It’ll be just as fantastic.

Easiest Pasta Salad Ever

1 box farfalle pasta

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1 zucchini, quartered and chopped

1 can black olives, sliced

1 large carrot, shaved into bite sized pieces

1/4 c. +1/3 c. Olive Garden Italian Dressing

1/4 c. shredded parmesan cheese

Black pepper, to taste

Cook pasta according to directions on box. Drain and toss with 1/4 c. dressing. Cool to room temperature.

Toss pasta with vegetables, parmesan, and dressing and pepper to taste. Chill before serving.

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