Home cooking: Laurita Aubrey shares her recipe for Pasta Salad

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By Deanna Godman

Laurita Aubrey made her pasta salad for the first time the day that she served it at the August meeting of the Spencer County Garden Club. She created the recipe using ingredients she found in her kitchen.

“I looked around, saw what I had and put it together,” said Aubrey.

Aubrey is interested in simple food and simple methods of preparation. Cooking is not her favorite activity, so she prefers to spend little time working on it.

“I don’t like to cook much so I look for the simple way,” she said. “I’m the type that if I can’t throw it all in one bowl then it’s too much trouble.”

Her favorite meal is spaghetti. One of her pantry staples is different kinds of pasta. “I just keep simple things in my pantry,” said Aubrey.

Aubrey’s favorite cookbook is “Mixed With Love: Collection of Family Recipes”  by the Chattanooga Christian School Association. She bought it from her three nieces when they had a fundraiser for their school.

“It has the best recipes in it. They’re simple - right up my alley,” said Aubrey. “Everything in it a child could make.”

Aubrey prefers gardening over cooking. She has been a member of the Garden Club for about a year since she and her daughter, Beth Merideth, joined together. Her favorite part of the meetings is hearing about what other gardeners have experienced so she can apply it to her own garden. “Maybe [I] can have a a better growing season next year,” she said.

Aubrey is also accomplished in needlework. This year she won two blue ribbons at the Kentucky State Fair for her entries. This is the fourth year she has entered the fair. The first year she won third place. Each year since she has won a blue ribbon.

Pasta Salad

1 box rotini pasta

1 medium green pepper, diced

1 large tomato, diced

1 package sliced pepperoni, diced

1 8 ounce package shredded Cheddar cheese

Italian dressing to taste

Cook pasta according to the package. After draining the pasta, combine it with the next four ingredients. Add the Italian dressing to taste and to moisten the salad. Toss. Serve in a 9x13 pan.