Penne or Rotini Pasta. (I used tri-color rotini, and pulled out the orange tomato ones, then added more white rotini in order to have enough. I took out the tomato because it’s not red enough once cooked.)
Cucumber or zucchini (your preference)
Cherry / grape tomatoes
Orange cheese (we used Colby, sharp cheddar is yummy too. White cheese will work but the stars won’t show up as well.)
Italian dressing or vinaigrette (our fave is Bragg’s Vinaigrette)
Salami / pepperoni / ham
Additional cheese (blending two different types works well. I used colby for my orange stars, then grated white raw cheddar.)
Make pasta according to package instructions.
Drain and toss in salad dressing. Put in fridge to chill while prepping the veg.
Cut little trees from the cucumber or zucchini. (Don’t go crazy making a million trees. Just a few for the top will impress your guests, and thrill your kids!)
Slice the remaining cucumber (the center) into small bite size chunks.
Chop brocoli and cauliflower into little florets.
Use a cookie cutter to make stars out of orange cheese.
My dog thinks she’s getting cheese.
Stir the broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, cucumber and any optional veg into the pasta.
Add salt / pepper to taste.
Add more salad dressing if needed and toss to coat the veg.
Add all the cheese stars. (I didn’t stir them in, so they’d be very visible on top and my kids would see them.)
Lay the cucumber trees on top,
then grate some white cheese for ‘tinsel’ or ‘snow’.