The following post was written by Shawanda Mason , who blogs at Eat.Drink.Frolic.  and is part of POPSUGAR Select Food .
Summer is a time for relaxing, vacationing, and just enjoying the beautiful sunshine. During these months, I love to cook, but I try and keep it easy. The days are longer, the nights are warmer, and I'd prefer to take a long walk or to enjoy a cocktail on the patio. In order to fulfill this Summer dream, I try and spend less time in the kitchen, but that doesn't mean that my meals aren't filling: they just take less time to make!
Pastas are easy. They're perfect for hot nights and even better as a side dish for a barbecue. The best part? No need to be in the kitchen for hours. Pastas are so versatile, too: they can easily be adjusted to your taste with veggies, meats, and herbs of your choosing. The prep time is minimal, and cold pastas, like this salmon and green bean dish, can even be prepared the day before you serve it.
Easy Salmon Summer Pasta
- I like to wait to add the dressing so the noodles and the rest of the pasta ingredients don't become soggy.
- If you'd prefer to use a homemade dressing, try a light vinaigrette.
Bow tie noodles, cooked according to the package
Cucumbers, sliced and quartered
Green beans, steamed or blanched
Salt and pepper
Cooked salmon, torn into chunks — I used blackened salmon from Whole Foods
Parmesan cheese, shredded
- Add your cooked noodles, cucumbers, and green beans to a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss.
- Add the salmon and parmesan cheese. Stir.
- Top with the lemon zest.
- When you're ready to serve, drizzle with the Italian dressing.