Italian Pasta Salad

May 11, 2018 By Cathy — No Comments
This easy pasta salad is vibrant, flavorful and about to be your new favorite summer staple.

Italian Pasta Salad

I didn’t grow up eating pasta salad. My dad felt strongly that pasta, or macaroni as we called it, was meant for sauce, meatballs and Sundays. It, unlike revenge, was best served piping hot. I completely subscribed to his theory up until several years back when having a couple of finicky eaters in my house meant lots of leftovers, especially plain pasta.

Instead of tossing those leftovers, or scarfing them down in a clean plate club panic, I decided to throw caution to the wind and get creative. I went the old school picnic mayonnaise route; the antipasto route with chunks of meat and cheese and pepperoncini; the cold pasta primavera (all the veggies) route. And you know what? Dare I say, I liked them all. Turns out you can have pasta on Sunday smothered in sauce and cheese and still like pasta salad. Sorry Dad, unlike Donny and Marie, we can be country AND rock and roll.

Italian Pasta Salad

 

Italian Pasta Salad

So today let’s take a walk down the pasta salad path. This recipe starts with freshly cooked pasta, still warm enough to absorb the dressing. Now, that said, you can make it using leftover pasta, but I suggest rewarming it slightly, maybe with a tablespoon or two of water before tossing it with the dressing. This salad is basically a twist on a classic Italian caprese salad. And if you’re a regular visitor to the blog, you know I love me some caprese like here and here. Today the pasta is the base, tossed with balsamic dressing and then fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and arugula are folded into the mix.

Italian Pasta Salad

This Italian pasta salad is super easy, fresh and vibrant. It’s a wonderful accompaniment to grilled chicken or fish. I like it served warm or at room temperature, but you can make it ahead and store it in the frig until you’re ready to serve it. If you’ve been searching for your perfect summer side (low maintenance and tasty), this is it. It made a convert out of me and I’m guessing if you’ve been pasta salad skeptic, it will out of you too.

Italian Pasta Salad

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Italian Pasta Salad
Italian Pasta Salad
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
This easy pasta salad is vibrant, flavorful and about to be your new favorite summer staple.
Course: Salad, Side
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: pasta salad
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 547 kcal
Ingredients
  • 1 lb box farfalle pasta, cooked according to pkg directions
  • 10 oz grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 1 pint bocconcini, halved (or fresh mozzarella, chopped)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan, grated
  • Kosher salt and pepper
Balsamic Dressing
  • 1 small clove garlic, very finely minced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
Instructions
Balsamic Dressing
  1. Whisk together the garlic, sugar and balsamic vinegar. Add the olive oil, while steadily whisking, in a steady stream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pasta Salad
  1. Combined cooked farfalle (still warm) with the remaining ingredients.
  2. Add dressing and toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Nutrition Facts
Italian Pasta Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 547 Calories from Fat 288
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 32g 49%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 23mg 8%
Sodium 246mg 10%
Potassium 246mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 46g 15%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 4g
Protein 19g 38%
Vitamin A 11.9%
Vitamin C 7.6%
Calcium 27.9%
Iron 6.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Italian Pasta Salad

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Filed Under: Recipe, Salads, Sides

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