pasta salad

Have you ever just stood in front of your kitchen table and screamed?

Next time you’re angry or upset about something.  You should do it.

It’s life altering.

barren pasta 2

Sophie and I have gotten into this habit of “shaking it out” whenever we’re upset.

It’s a very technical procedure. In which you move your arms and legs every which way, flailing around your apartment (or 1st Avenue) like a lunatic, forcing everyone around you to consider the possibility that you’re seizing.

If no one has called an ambulance by the time you’re done.  You’re not doing it properly.

We’re talking more than just spirit fingers or jazz hands here, people.  Your arms should almost be coming out of their sockets.  Go big or go home.  That sort of thing.

Anyway, in addition to recruiting every emergency medical team within a five mile radius, “shaking it out” also has the effect of putting a smile on your face.  So do it.  Come on.  Get happy.

pasta salad3

What does this have to do with screaming at your kitchen table?

Well.  I was under the impression that no event that could befall a person would be too big, too all encompassing for “shaking it out”.

Then I got $6,000 worth of rejected insurance claims in the mail from my myriad MRIs, X rays, orthopedist and physical therapy visits.

And so I screamed.

In the end.  “Shaking it out” paled in comparison.

pasta salad

After about twenty calls to every billing department at the Hospital for Special Surgery, I think we may finally have figured out the problem.  It has something to do with the fact that my school insurance is completely negligent, worthless, and unwilling to actually cover anything at all whatsoever.  And me having to switch to using my father’s insurance, under which I’m still (thankfully) covered.  By virtue of the fact that I’m under 25 and still in school.

Another perk to this being, of course, that should the claims get rejected again they will be sent to my parents’ house rather than mine.  So if you hear some really loud screaming in Queens.  You’ll know what that’s about.

The moral of all this being that while all of this was still up in the air, I needed comfort food.

And by comfort food.  I mean pasta.  I should tell you that it had been two weeks since I’d had pasta.  Two.  Weeks.

Which, really, is enough to induce kitchen table screaming all on its own.

And so when I found some locally grown green beans and grape tomatoes at my nearest Whole Foods.  A pasta salad was born.

Although it tastes better cold the day after you make it, I have to say that I really did like it.  It would be perfect to bring to a 4th of July barbecue this weekend.  Or a Canada Day affair tomorrow.  (I’m an equal opportunist when it comes to Independence Days).

Or, you know.  If you feel an urge to stand in front of your table and scream.  It’s good for suppressing that as well.

I am submitting this to Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted by Ruth over at Once Upon A Feast as well as to Deb for Souper Sundays and to Two For Tuesdays!
barren pasta

Roasted Green Bean and Fennel Pasta Salad
Serves 4 as a main dish, 8 as a side, adapted from Got No Milk 

1 lb pasta
1 lb fresh green beans, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
2 medium onions, sliced thinly
1 small fennel bulb, sliced
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
12 pitted kalamata olives, sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400.  Arrange the green beans, onions, and fennel on a baking sheet.  Spray with cooking spray or drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and roast for 20-25 minutes or until tender.

2. Cook pasta under al dente.  Drain and place in a large serving bowl.  Mix in tomatoes, olives, and roasted veggies.

3.  Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.  Drizzle over the pasta salad and toss to combine.

pasta salad 5

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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79 Responses to Roasted Green Bean and Fennel Pasta Salad

  1. Shaking it out seems to be a solution to putting a smile on our face, but this salad would also do it for me. Get into the kitchen and stop your “bitchen” is my mantra.

  2. I don’t know about you, but I have been finding the best grape tomatoes recently. So flavorful!

    What a nice way to revamp the old pasta salad. I really need to use fennel more often. Also, I love the inclusion of olives!

  3. Astra Libris says:

    Oh my goodness, Joanne, I’m so sorry that you had to go through such stress with the medical bills… I recently received a $3,000 bill from an orthopedist, saying it had been rejected from the insurance company, and I screamed then too, so I can only imagine how horrible it must have been to get a $6,000 bill… I hope both of our insurance issues are successfully resolved soon… and in the meantime, I’m going to try your “shaking it out” method, which sounds wonderfully liberating! Along with your gorgeous, gorgeous pasta salad, which sounds like the best pasta idea I’ve heard in quite a while… 🙂 YUM!

  4. Faith says:

    What a hassle, I hope your claims go through! I’ll remember the shake it out or scream method next time I’m upset — definitely better than holding it in, right? 🙂 Or I’ll make this beautiful, comforting pasta dish!

  5. Raina says:

    I like your stress-relieving idea. I will have to try it sometime. Although, I definitely agree a good scream does a body

    That is really too bad that insurance for students is lousy. It just does not seem right. Glad to hear you are still covered under your parents…that is a huge amount of money!

    Your pasta salad is probably the best-looking pasta salad I have ever seen. I love pasta salad and am always looking for new ones to try. I will definitely make it this weekend. Thanks..I was looking for something to bring to a barbecue on Monday:)

  6. That is a huge bill. I hope your dad’s insurance covers it.
    The pasta salad looks really good!

  7. This is such a lovely vegan pasta and that too with local grown beans and grapes…. yummy!

  8. Simply Life says:

    Oh I’ve definitely done the “shaking it out” but it really scares my husband 🙂

  9. Pam says:

    You have every right to scream! Good luck with the insurance! I bet this pasta dish really helped, it looks delicious!

  10. Ty'sMommy says:

    OH yeah, been there….I’m more for the screaming than the shaking it out, but yeah. Its that Italian temper, ya know. 🙂

    In any case, pasta is always my comfort food too, and this one looks awesome. I love that green beans are in season now! There’s going to be a lot of them cooking in my house soon, too!

  11. lisa says:

    Pasta is the best when it comes to comfort food. The roasted vegetables sound great here too. And, thanks for reminding me that I should use fennel more often!

  12. elra says:

    Sounds delicious Joanne, although I never roasted the green bean before, it pretty tempting really.

  13. Ameena says:

    I am so sorry you are dealing with an insurance nightmare…I am an expert on that thanks to being in the hospital for a couple of weeks and nearly needing to declare bankruptcy thanks to some crazy $60 Tylenols…let me know if you need any advice.

    In the meantime I will be screaming at my kitchen table for other reasons…mainly my child is driving me nuts!

    Pasta looks SO good, love the roasted green bean addition.

  14. Katerina says:

    Pasta and salad at the same time. I love it.

  15. Mary says:

    I’m glad that all worked out with the bill. As one who considers “university” health insurance useless, I’ve often wondered why they don’t state up front what they do cover. On a happier note, I love your pasta and the way you’ve used fennel to perk it up. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary

  16. Dawn says:

    That reminds me of the 15K of dental bills my dental insurance wouldn’t cover (due to genetics have four baby teeth that didn’t have adult teeth behind and those suckers only last so long and I couldn’t go around toothless. I do like to chew every now and then). Yes I think I ate pasta too. Doesn’t pasta make everything better? Why can’t broccoli make everything better?

  17. Val says:

    I have never thought of roasting green beans. Ever! I love it. They look so delicious. I have a bag of green beans at home So I’ll give this recipe a try. Thanks!

  18. Hannah says:

    Hm, sounds like a useful technique! I’ll have to try “shaking it out” next time I’m upset.

    And really, what a lovely, summery dish! Looks like a great thing for a picnic.

  19. Yosha says:

    $6000?!! Jeez! This is one of those moments I am happy to live in Canada. Complaining about our health system is somewhat of a national past time. Life going on ok…nothing too much to complain about…well let’s discuss the crazy wait times at the ER, the over crowded hospitals, the long wait times for non-critical surgeries and now they want to increase our premiums?! What? Then you read something like this and remember premiums are couple of hundred per year (for a single girl). Granted I am being a bit flip here, and there are some legit concerns but for the most part, in my lucky experience, our system delivers when needed!

    My family doc has the luxury of ordering tests just to be sure. Case in point I have a knee issue…the doc is 99.99% certain it is patella femoral but just to clear the 0.01% lets do a couple of x-rays that is totaly covered and since it’s not recovering as fast as you are loosing patience how about seeing a specialist? All covered.

    Bah you got me on the health care rant when i really wanted to say Yum! I never thought of griling beans! hmmm….

    I hope your insurance issues are a thing of the past!


  20. knk says:

    hi dear lovely pasta
    looks really nice

    i miss delicious food

  21. Bethany says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your crazy medical bill ordeal! That is so frustrating!! Definitely worth shaking it out and screaming! I have been known to shake it out and scream more than a few times in my day 😉 But, at least it all resulted in the birth of a wonderful pasta. I love the fennel addition in this dish! Thanks for sharing this at our Two for Tuesdays blog hop!

  22. Amy says:

    Oh wow. That’s enough to bring on a seizure. My Mom practiced Thai Chi for years and I remember when she first started, there was this deep “hoot” she would expel. As a kid, I thought it was hilarious. Now as a grown up, I understand the release.

    Insurance companies…dealing with them is almost as bad as visiting the DMV.

    Most importantly, 2 weeks without pasta? REALLY? Are you okay? There are probably help groups for that.

  23. You have to learn yoga. I have no clue about yoga but everyone says, it is calming. Scaring your neighbors as you must do is just not nice. Bring them some of this yummy looking pasta. Ruth is going to love you.

  24. Mo Diva says:

    yeah i would hit that pasta HARD after that debacle… hell after even seen 4 digits of money i apparently owed would cause me to scream with my arms flailing with pasta hanging out of my mouth.

  25. Pam says:

    I’m going to have to try the shake it out thing. It sounds like something I need right about now.

  26. I screamed a lot after becoming a wife and a mom. Yeah, the higher the frequency, the better the effect! Love your pasta salad! So healthy and delicious! 😉

  27. I hope everything works out for you! I know what a pain these hospital bills can be!! Luckily this is a great choice of pastas!

  28. Tasha says:

    Two weeks without pasta would be reason alone to “shake it out” for me. The medical bills would put me over the edge. Hope it all gets figured out. Love this pasta salad, so full of yummy stuff!

  29. girlichef says:

    Two weeks? You!? Well, hopefully this appeased that need for comfort 😉 Seriously, it sounds delicious! Frickin’ insurance companies. A good, long, loud scream goes a looooong way. I know from this from practice. Plenty of it. 😉 Thanks for sharing with Two for Tuesdays this week!

  30. Erica says:

    This looks delicious!!!Healthy and fresh….The Perfect summer lunch.

  31. Wow, 2 weeks with no pasta! Hope you were holding up fine. I’m in MN so you’d probably have to scream pretty loud for me to hear, though if the wind was right and if the bills were REALLY high… who knows. 🙂

  32. 2 weeks without pasta…I want to scream for you 🙂

    This is a good one though.

  33. Shannon says:

    oh no, that is NOT cool. insurance stinks. but i’m glad you got it all worked out. love roasted green beans, great pasta!

  34. Andreas says:

    That pasta salad has a very summery look.
    How clever to redirect any future rejects to your parent’s place. 😉

  35. RV says:

    $6000… faint… thank god you got covered. am drooling at the pasta, those teeny weeny tomatoes adds a zing to the dish.

  36. Suman Singh says:

    pasta salad looks very healthy n delicious..yummie!

  37. I totally hear you on the shaking it out thing. Sometimes a good scream makes it all better. Or at least for that particular moment.

  38. Eliana says:

    Nothing like a good bowl of pasta to help calm you down after dealing with health insurance issues. I seriously hate our system here.

  39. Rachana says:

    The pasta salad looks so refreshing and yumm! Loved the addition of fennel in there 🙂

    Good luck with the insurance!

  40. Lea Ann says:

    I’ve never “shook it out” but I like it. What good news that you’re covered under your family insurance…what a relief! I’ve not had pasta for about a month, I need a pasta fix or I might be “shaking it out”…this sounds like a delicious fix.

  41. RamblingTart says:

    Oh girl, I’m so sorry! I hope it all gets sorted soon. I do empathize. I’m still paying off the $28,000 I incurred from emergency surgery that wasn’t covered. 🙁 I love that you shake it out. 🙂 A friend of mine does that with her children, on the floor, calls it “fibrilating” 🙂 You guys rock. 🙂

  42. Julie says:

    i feeeeel like if you’re a med student shouldn’t you have good insurance…

    …am i wrong about that?

    i hear ya on the praise the lord for JUST making the parental insurance coverage. phew!

  43. katerina says:

    I love your directly from above photos! They are just beautiful.

  44. Amy says:

    Delicious pasta! The Regional Recipes is a really, really cool idea, love it!!
    I just posted a story entitled “made by flour”. Come and visit if you have a moment.

  45. Deborah says:

    Definitely a cause for comfort food! I’d be comforted by a bowl full of this:)

  46. Chris says:


    I’m sorry….were you saying something? 😉

  47. theUngourmet says:

    I’d say all of this hassle is definitely worth a good scream! Hope you figure it all out! Your salad is most excellent! 🙂

  48. oh you poor thing hope you get the bills sorted, and I do stand and scream quietly to the mirror sometimes he he
    pleased I am not the only one struggling with the no knead bread lol

  49. Very beautiful and colourful salad…

  50. grace says:

    i’ve definitely needed to shake it out before, and you’re right–there’s something refreshing about flailing around willy-nilly.
    meanwhile, i’ve eaten more green beans in my life than two normal people put together but i’ve never had them roasted. interesting salad!

  51. Sophie says:

    I so love this tasty grilled beans & fennel & veggies pasta dish!!

    the pasta dish sounds so good & is looking pretty too!

    Good luck with resolving the insurance problems!

  52. Marisa says:

    GREAT salad! But not so great bills – sheesh, I would’ve keeled over if that happened to me. But yeah, shaking it out is the real deal – nothing makes me happier faster.

  53. tigerfish says:

    Oh you do have every reason to the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and even during shower….arghhhh…insurance! hateful!

    Hope the pasta salad did its magic…I’m sure it did.

  54. Barbara says:

    Good heavens! You went two weeks without pasta? What happened?
    Boo, hiss on all those bills. Let’s hope we don’t hear screams from your parents!

    I’ve roasted fennel (I have this a couple times a week!) and onions, but sure never thought of green beans! I love this salad. Looks like whole wheat pasta too…which I actually like better.

  55. Neha says:

    I love pasta! yours look really tempting..

  56. i love the idea of shakin it out too. so sorry for all the medical bill stuff. real life can be crazy sometimes. love the recipe though 🙂

  57. Kim says:

    $6k, OH NO! No pasta for two weeks…I would definitely scream;-)

    The pasta salad looks great. I used to be impartial to fennel, but now I really like it.

    Have a great 4th Joanne!!

  58. Sooo yummy looking! I want to make this tonight for dinner!!

  59. That looks perfect for the beach this weekend. Love the fennel, I am a big fan.

    Be Well

  60. Kelsey says:

    ive spent many occasions screaming in the kitchen lol

    i love how the green beans look so incredible in the photo <3 im such a green bean lover- how could u not be!! <3

  61. I would of been shaking and screaming like a banshee! I don’t blame you one bit for needing the comfort of pasta…Delicious, roasted veggie-packed, flavor-filled pasta!

  62. Cristie says:

    So happy you’ve found a way to release the bad and let in the good. What ever works, you have to do it. I love fennel, it’s just on the top of my list- your pasta salad looks delicious.

  63. Cara says:

    mmm. Fennel is one of my new favorites! I have yet to try it with colorful summery stuff like this, sounds delish!

  64. Ruth Daniels says:

    I’ve never done the “shaking it out” dance, but I have done the screaming…screaming that comes from deep in your belly and reverberates through your brains and soul…and it’s so cathartic. I used to do it often when we lived in a house in Toronto. Now that we live in an apartment in Halifax, I’m too afraid my neighbors would call the police ;-0

    Great pasta dish and wonderful photos. Which one will I choose for the Presto Pasta Night Roundup?

  65. polwig says:

    Shaking it off definately helps, cooking mainly chopping or making milkshakes definately does it for me too… Thank goodness you have 2 insurences.

  66. Ms. Meanie says:

    Screaming doesn’t work for me. I like throwing things. Papers, pencils, food, etc. I once got mad at something and threw a bunch of tupperwares across my kitchen. It felt good.

    This salad looks awesome. I love fennel in pasta dishes. And man, your pictures are just so amazing! Looks like you got tons of sunlight in your kitchen — lucky girl!

  67. Nadji says:

    Une salade délicieuse pour ces jours de grosses chaleurs.
    A bientôt.

  68. sophia says:

    Oh my God, I would have screamed, too. And probably done more than that. I hope all those bills work out. and no screaming in Queens can be heard, either.

  69. Carolyn Jung says:

    There are definitely times when a good scream is worthwhile, as is a good cry. I say, just let her rip. Better than keeping it all bottled up.

  70. Believe it or not, I’m not a fan of pasta salad. I know. I think I’m the only one. But this one with fennel and string beans is making me sing!
    PS Deep breathing or a marathon of Friday Night Lights helps too.

  71. Pierce says:

    Oh Joanne…I am sorry you had such an awful experience with the insurance. I think a scream is definitely in order – the pasta is amazing. True comfort food,

  72. Kristen says:

    And I thought I was upset over the $350 bill I got today from last year’s emergency room visit when a car didn’t run over my youngest son’s foot and it wasn’t broken. Geesh! $6000!!!

    Love the salad.

  73. Kelsey says:

    lol i know, having a sweet potato-only dinner is a bit sinful but its fun to break the rules 🙂

    i almost always put the same combo of spices on them- cayenne pepper powder, dried basil, and dried oregano <3

  74. first: i HATE this health care system. i hate how it is so hard to get any sort of medical treatment. it’s like they want us to be sick AND poor! wtf.

    girl. so much STUFF to tell you about this dude! man! he’s younger tho. ehh.

    you put it perfectly. i hold back beacuse i DON”T want to spill everything and have them run away scared because it’s just too much to handle. i don’t know if i’ll ever find someone i’ll feel comfortable telling EVERYTHING. but hopefully there IS a person out there that will know it all and BE THERE for me in those hard times that will come. i know i’m jaded because i’ve met so many bad guys. i can’t help it, i’m going to close up and it’s up to him to show me he’s different.

    he hasn’t made the moves, but he’s called and texted a lot. and facebook messaged. more updates on tomorrow’s blog. just for you. =D

  75. Debinhawaii says:

    Two weeks w/o pasta?! This salad looks delicious–loving the fennel in it especially and the mix with the green beans and tomatoes is yum. 😉 Thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays.

  76. Recent stressors caused me to throw a temper tantrum. We’re talking flailing on the GROUND after I threw myself down on it. Yeah. Bad. And it wasn’t even insurance-related! I’m glad you were able to sort it out and get back on your father’s plan though. Student insurance is silly. And you would THINK they’d give better coverage to future doctors of America! I love that you channeled your energy into this pasta salad. Grape tomatoes always calm me down 🙂

  77. Lovely pasta salad! It would be a welcome addition to any celebration- including one for finding out your medical bills are covered. 🙂 Thanks for sharing-

  78. Neha says:

    Hi Joanne,
    glad to find your blog..good work! following you..

  79. Oh wow, my mouth is watering just looking at this!

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