I sometimes make these dishes for my lunch using leftover pasta and you can throw them together in minutes with pre cooked pasta. Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain. I drizzle the extra cooked pasta with a little olive oil, so the pasta doesn’t stick together. I store it in the fridge in a tupperware style container or a zip lock bag until I am ready to use it.
Tomato Macaroni & Cheese
For one serving I reheat one serving of the pasta in the microwaive for about 1 minute with some butter and a splash of milk. I add a little cut up cream cheese and shredded cheddar cheese and stir it all together until the cheese melts. Sprinkle the top with halved cherry tomatoes. You can eat it just like this or for and extra indulgence you can throw it into a casserole dish sprinkle bread crumbs, or a little parmesan cheese on top and throw it under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the top.
Quick and Colorful Pasta Salad
For one serving add a handful of sliced black olives, a handful or two of your favorite vegetables (You can use arugula, fresh spinach, green, red, yellow, or orange peppers, chopped zucchini or yellow squash, broccoli, asparagus, or anything else you happen to have around that sounds good to you. I sometimes add chunks of cheese or salami, ham, or even leftover chicken too. ) Drizzle with Italian, Caesar, or your other favorite salad dressing. I like to top my salad with things like freshly grated parmesan cheese, cherry tomatoes, sunflower seeds or some other nut, croutons, and sometimes raisins, dried cherries, or craisins. It is fun to experiment and come up with different combinations depending on what ingredients you have around the house.
Pasta and Peas
(You can easily choose a different veggie if you don’t like peas or leave the veggie out completely)
For this dish you need some alfredo sauce, you can use store bought sauce in a jar, or make your own. I add chunks of cooked chicken, ham, salami or browned sausage to the pasta, add the sauce and a handfull of peas and heat it up in the microwave for another quick lunch. I often halve some cherry tomatoes and sprinkle them on top of the pasta or serve them on the side with a little lettuce, spinach, or arugula as a side salad.
Hope this helps!