Cooking on a 40 degree day: Pasta salad!

We recently went through a heat wave, day after day of 40 degrees Celsius, and I was having trouble deciding what to eat for lunch and dinner.  When it’s that hot and the humidity is high, the last thing you want to be doing is slaving away in a hot kitchen.

So I did some research and came across a recipe online for pasta salad. It does involve using the oven for 20 minutes, but I made enough salad to last me for a few days so the short burst of oven heat seemed worth it.

Click here for the recipe or scroll to the bottom of the post.

One of the most exciting parts of this recipe for me was the fact that my roasted eggplant turned out moist and delicious.  In the past, every time I tried to roast eggplant, it would be dry and tough in the end.  This recipe suggests to me that I was probably roasting it much too long.

So, it starts with an eggplant, a zucchini, an onion, a green pepper and some minced garlic. 

Preheat your oven to 350 and then chop up your veg into bite sized cubes, mince the garlic and toss them all in a bowl with olive oil.  At this point, I decided to add some herbs to the mix and discovered a bag of “Italian Seasoning” in my cupboard, which is actually just a mix of dried thyme, oregano and basil.

Cubed and tossed with oil

Layer the veg on a cookie sheet and roast in the oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes. 

I haven’t bothered to toss them but feel free to pull them out and shake them up a bit halfway though the cooking time.  After 20 minutes, remove the cookie sheet from the oven, toss the cooked cubes a bit so they don’t stick and allow them to cool…Kind of a crappy pic of my cooked veg 😛

While my vegetables cooked, I cooked my pasta.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get any clear pictures of that process.

I used whole wheat corkscrew pasta and boiled it in lightly salted water until tender, then rinsed it in cold water.

Final step was to mix the remaining ingredients together! Vegetables, pasta, feta cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette. 
I also added a can of tuna to my first batch and it was delicious!

I found it better cold and it seems to get better with time, so if you plan to serve it to company, I’d suggest making it a few hours or even a day before!


With optional tuna 🙂

Anti-Heat Wave Pasta Salad



  • 1 zucchini, cubed
  • 1 eggplant, cubed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (12 ounce) package rotini/corkscrew pasta
  • 3 ounces diced feta cheese
  • balsamic vinaigrette
  • dried thyme, oregano, basil
  • 1 can of tuna – optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Combine zucchini, eggplant, onion, bell pepper and garlic in a baking dish. Toss with olive oil. Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
  3. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add rotini pasta and cook until tender; drain and rinse with cold water.
  4. In a bowl combine vegetable mixture, cooled pasta, Feta cubes, and salad dressing; toss until well mixed.
  5. Tastes good warm, but is even better cold the next day! Great as a leftover dish!

NOTE: This is a recipe I found and altered from


About Amanda Pants

A bit odd, a bit eccentric, a bit loud. Kinda goth, kinda alt, kinda geeky. Crochet/cooking/reading/writing/big stompy boots/journals and a Cheshire grin! All recorded on Wordpress ;) Learning to cook with a Dash of Daring and a Pinch of Panic: Sewing and fibre arts, creations made by moi: Random rants and other bits and pieces: View all posts by Amanda Pants

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