March 26, 2018

The Easter Bunny will be hopping into town on April 1. Make sure you’re ready with a table full of Easter goodies.

If you’re serving a traditional Easter ham, smashed red potatoes and a colorful pasta salad will complete your spring dinner.

Smashed Red Potatoes

Instead of mashed potatoes, try smashed potatoes. They are crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside and smothered with savory herbs.

12 small red or yellow potatoes (I used one bag of small yellow potatoes)

extra-virgin olive oil

salt

black pepper

garlic powder

dried basil leaves

dried thyme leaves

dried rosemary

Fill a pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Carefully add potatoes and boil for 10 minutes, or until they are fork tender. Strain and return to empty pot (this helps to dry out the potatoes). (I bought a bag of small yellow potatoes and followed the package instructions to keep them in the bag and cook them in the microwave. The directions said 8 minutes, but they were done at 7 minutes in my microwave).

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and drizzle a small amount of olive oil onto the foil. Use a basting brush to cover pan with oil.

Place potatoes onto baking sheet and line up in four rows, with three potatoes in each row. Use a potato masher to smash each potato. Drizzle each potato with olive oil and use the basting brush to ensure even coverage of oil. Liberally sprinkle each potato with salt, then sprinkle each potato with pepper, garlic powder, basil, thyme, and rosemary. Place potatoes in oven and bake for 14 minutes or until browned on the top.

Serve plain or top with sour cream, plain Green yogurt, butter or Parmesan cheese.

Colorful Pasta Salad

This cheerful pasta salad will brighten up your Easter table. Marinate tricolor pasta, fresh green broccoli, tomatoes, and red onion in tasty Italian dressing for a super quick and fresh side dish.

1 box (12 oz) tricolor spiral pasta

2 cups fresh broccoli florets

1 container grape or cherry tomatoes, halved (I used cocktail tomatoes and cut them into quarters)

1/4 red onion, diced

1 1/2 cups Italian salad dressing

shredded Parmesan cheese

In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions (keep pasta a bit firm) and add the broccoli during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain and rinse in cold water.

Transfer to a large bowl. Add the tomatoes and onion. Add salad dressing and stir. Add pasta and broccoli and toss to coat in dressing. Cover and keep refrigerated. Sprinkle with shredded Parmesan just before serving.

Note: If making the day ahead, do not add tomatoes until next day.

Makes 12 servings