This Summer, anything is pasta-ble

Chicago provides the entertainment, you bring the food. These unique summertime pasta dishes are a healthy, quick and tasty solution for all your BYO needs.

Photograph: Passion for PastaCold, No Bake Lasagna

Air and Water Show: Pairs perfectly with Jarred Pasta Salad, Farfalle with smoked salmon and yogurt

The Air and Water Show brings an amazing array of jets and boats to Lake Michigan for a truly special weekend. Whether you’re watching the show from the beach or from a friend’s rooftop, you’ll need a light but filling meal to carry you through a day of cranking your neck up at a 45-degree angle. Between the fiber in the farfalle pasta and protein from the smoked salmon and yogurt, this pasta salad is packed with energizing ingredients to help you appreciate the wonder of manned flight all afternoon.


Steely Dan at Ravinia: Pairs perfectly with spaghetti salmon sliders

Packing adorable pasta-based sandwiches won’t fly at most music venues, but Ravinia is different. The North Shore stage is designed for just that, and you’ll be the envy of everyone else on the lawn with these sliders. Steely Dan hasn’t released an album in a dozen years, but you can be sure the group will jam out just like it always has. If you want to be able to groove to hits like “Peg” and “Bad Sneakers” all night, this new food collision is the perfect snack to keep you going. As a complex carbohydrate, pasta is an excellent energy food!


Day on the beach: Pairs perfectly with cold, no-bake lasagna

When you’re soaking in some rays and splashing around in Lake Michigan, the last thing you want is a hot, greasy sandwich from the concession stand. Instead, whip together this simple, refreshing no-bake lasagna before heading out to your favorite beach. When paired with flavorful veggies, you can feel good about eating pasta even when you’re in a swimsuit. 


Great Chicago Fire Festival: Pairs perfectly with pasta maki

Okay, the inaugural Great Chicago Fire Festival was a huge disappointment last year—the fake buildings floating along the river failed to light on fire as planned, and onlookers were left confused. This year, the city is taking the festival to Northerly Island, which will be a perfect opportunity to munch on some healthy bite-size pasta maki—yes, you heard us, pasta sushi is a definite must-try this summer. Even if this year’s festival lets you down, this Asian-inspired recipe certainly will not.


Movies in the Park: Pair perfectly with lasagna crisps with bacon onion jam

There are more than 200 different movies being screened in parks throughout the city this summer. If you want to find out what community events in Chicago are all about, catching an outdoor flick over snacks and beverages is your best bet. If you make enough of these lasagna crisps to share, you could become the most popular member of your neighborhood. They’re a simple way to show off your culinary creativity, and—wait for it—there’s bacon in the jam.