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Summer pasta salad a quick meal for busy schedules

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Tired of fixing the same old pasta? Spaghetti sauce, cheese and creamy sauces get old after a while.

Maybe we can help. I received this summer pasta salad recipe from my friend Brittany Carter. One day on a whim, she fixed this pasta with fresh veggies and it is good.

She mixed tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and ranch dressing salad mix together with some penne noodles. It was much better than I expected.

Brittany also has some other great recipes I hope she shares with us. She makes a fabulous baked ziti dish and an Oreo pie that melts in your mouth, and she's got the roast and potatoes meal down pat.

She is also a busy mom, so she knows the need to have some quick-fix meals.

This dish takes less than 20 minutes to make and even less time to gobble down.

Something else that's nice about this dish is that you can eat it right after mixing all of the ingredients, or you can refrigerate it for a couple of hours and eat it cold. We like it either way at our house.

Summer pasta salad

Start to finish: 20 minutes, all active time

12-ounce box of penne pasta

Two to three tomatoes, washed, chopped

One large cucumber, peeled, chopped

One package of Ranch salad dressing mix

One onion, chopped (optional)

Mix ranch salad dressing mix according to direction of the back of the package. Place dressing in refrigerator while making the rest of recipe.

Cook pasta, following directions on the box.

Drain pasta thoroughly after cooking.

Mix pasta, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and dressing in a large mixing bowl.

Eat right away, or refrigerate for two hours.

TIP: Try Ronzoni Garden Delight pasta for a different flavor.