Pasta salad is nearly ubiquitous at summer gatherings, but can we let you in on a little secret? It usually isn’t very good. There, we said it. Getting the pasta cooked correctly, adding the right amount of dressing, and making sure the ingredients don’t get soggy and sad can be hard, and though some recipes really nail it (like those in Molly Baz’s new cookbook), others just end up a squishy, murky pasta side dish that no one wants to eat. Martha Stewart’s solution? Ditch the pasta entirely, and swap it out for something a little sturdier.

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