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Tips for Making Neon Pasta.. or Why You Should Make Neon Pasta

Neon Pasta

I first posted these photos in 2012 as a fun tribute to the opening of Disney’s the Lorax. This answers the question of why I originally wanted to make neon pasta. Yes, the broccoli was meant to represent the trees from the movie and the blue alfredo sauce- the river.  But after my neon pasta photo was listed as a Pinterest favorite photo of the day and has been shared thousands of times, I figured that maybe more than Lorax fans would want to cook up some neon pasta of their own.  Here’s my tips to making your pasta pop (we’ll answer the “why” later):

The Lorax Pasta

Toni’s Tips for Making Neon Pasta

Tip #1:  Choose A Fun Shape

Bowtie, penne, elbow, or my favorite- cavatappi pasta…. the purpose behind making neon pasta should undoubtedly determine its shape. Having a rainbow-themed party? Elbow. Want to bring the 80’s to dinner? Linguine.  And, for a formal affair, use bowtie, of course.

Tip #2:  Use Premium Food Dye

You can use an entire bottle of a cheap grocery store food dye and it still won’t give you the bright colors a professional food dye can (can you say “Pinterest fail”?). My favorite dyes are Wilton and Duff, which can both be found in Michaels or Walmart. In fact, Duff has a special line of neon colors like “Electric Pink” and “Electric Purple”.

Tip 3:  Don’t Toss Your Gold (your pasta water, that is)

If you follow any of my tips, you’ll want to follow this one. I call my pasta water liquid gold because I save it to the side for when my pasta gets dry and dehydrated, I simply splash some pasta water over the pasta to get it shiny again.  Take a glass measuring cup and scoop out the water before draining the pasta, one cup for every half pound of pasta.

scoop out pasta water

Tip #4:  Don’t Mix Your Water

Yes, you will have to boil each color individually (I know, duh). I start with my lightest color first and work my way up to the darkest colors. This makes saving your pasta water to rehydrate the pasta even more critical. The alternative is to get out three or four pots and boil them at the same time in separate pots, but personally, I only like to wash one pot.

 

Why You Want to Make Neon Pasta (come on, you know you want to)

I know you’re probably searching your brain for a reason to make neon pasta by now, right? The truth is that it’s just a fun touch to a party. Here are my reasons:

Reason #1:  80’s Themed Party

A few years ago I threw an 80’s themed party for my niece and thought a nice addition to some pizza would be a big bowl of neon spaghetti with their choice of marinara or alfredo sauce to top. It turned out to be one of the biggest hits of the party when I only thought it would be just a nice added touch. The girls talked about it all night.  You can read more about it here:

80s party

Reason #2:  Beach Themed Party

Okay, I might have gone a bit too far with this one. A friend was having beach-themed party for her daughter and needed some help so I made some “Surf’s Up Pasta” (blue cavatappi pasta for the waves) with a choice of Shark Attack Sauce (marinara) or “Sunset Sauce” (alfredo).  Yep.  Big hit.

Surfs Up Pasta

 

Reason 3#:  Because It’s Fun

Do you really need a reason to make neon pasta?  If you do, please refer to reasons 2 & 3 above.

Share Your Neon Pasta Photo #OrganizedCook

If you decide that neon pasta should be served at your next party and decide to take a photo, please tag me at @OrganizedCook on Instagram or Twitter, or post a photo to my Facebook.  Would love to share it with the rest of our readers!

 

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Easy Dinner Idea- Spring Penne

Easy Dinner Idea of the Week

Our Easy Dinner Idea of the week is a simple and healthy pasta dish with fresh asparagus, mushrooms and sundried tomatoes.  If you’re scrambling for a last-minute dinner solution, this is the recipe for you.

Easy Dinner Idea Recipe

Spring Penne Recipe

 

Check out our past Easy Dinner Ideas of the Week:

easy dinner idea recipes

Greek Pita Pockets with Meditteranean Potatoes

 

easy family dinner idea recipe

Sauteed Steak with Spinach, Tomatoes & Avocado

 

easy dinner recipe

Berry-Good Pork Tenderloin with Herb Roasted Potaotes

 

 

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Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes with Avocado & Brown Rice Pasta

Shopping at Trader Joe’s over the weekend, I picked up a container of beautiful heirloom tomatoes. I admired the array of colors these tomatoes covered- red, yellow, purple and green- and wondered what I could make with them.

After grabbing some fresh avocados and a pound of brown rice pasta, I headed home to try out this simple recipe.

Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes with Avocado & Brown Rice Pasta

Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes with Avocado & Brown Rice Pasta

Ingredients

  • colorful heirloom cherry tomatoes- 1 pint, sliced in half lengthwise
  • avocados- 2 ripe, diced into chunks
  • brown rice pasta- 1 pound
  • garlic- 2 cloves, minced
  • olive oil- 1/2 cup
  • lemon juice- 1 tablespoon (or juice squeezed from 1/4 lemon)
  • salt

Instructions

  1. heat oven to Broil
  2. bring salted water to boil in large pasta pan
  3. place tomato slices on baking sheet
  4. drizzle tomatoes with olive oil and dust with salt
  5. roast tomatoes in oven until they begin to char, approximately 7 minutes
  6. once water is boiling, add pasta and cook until tender
  7. once pasta is tender, drain and rinse under cool water (I only rinse pasta when making a cold salad or if it's brown rice)
  8. heat olive oil in large heated saute pan
  9. add pasta, tomatoes (with drippings), garlic and avocado to saute until pasta is just warm, only about 2 minutes
  10. transfer to serving bowl
http://tonispilsbury.com/roasted-heirloom-tomatoes-with-avocado-brown-rice-pasta/

heirloom1 heirloom12 heirloom11 heirloom10 heirloom9 heirloom8 heirloom7 heirloom6 heirloom4 heirloom3 heirloom2 heirloom tomato recipe

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Irish King Dinner

The traditional Irish meal.  The boiled meal.  There aren’t a ton a different ways to make this well-known dish of corned beef and cabbage to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

However, you can spruce the meal up a bit by giving it a royal theme.

 

Use a variety of green place-setting pieces and mix it up with a combination of vintage and modern, formal and casual.

 

Fortunately, corned beef is available in supermarkets for easy preparation in vacuum-sealed bags with seasoning and instructions.  Simply throw in some bay leaves, carrots, potatoes and cabbage and let it simmer.  One helpful hint I can offer to add a bit more flavor to this sometimes-bland dish: instead of water, use beef broth to simmer in.

For an even easier appetizer to this easy meal, try a cracker with cucumbers and dill:

Crackers with Cucumber-Dill:

Ingredients:

  1. Cream cheese, whipped
  2. Ranch dressing mix
  3. Round crackers
  4. Cucumbers, sliced thin with skin
  5. Dried or fresh dill

 

Directions:

  1. Combine cream cheese and ranch dressing mix.
  2. Top crackers with cream cheese mixture, then cucumber slices
  3. Garnish with dill

 

 

 

 

 

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