I can eat an army’s worth of pasta salad, seriously. It’s kind of ridiculous. This is a taken from something my mom emailed me about 10 years ago that I think *she* had on hand for 10-15 years. I could never get enough. I started mixing it with far less pasta and lots of greens (arugula or a spring mix are best…something a little bitter takes the dressing well and doesn’t get lost in the pasta) and using whole wheat pasta and here we are. No less delish, and it’s actually a complete meal or a nice cookout side dish, whichever works for what you’re doing. Very bright, adjustable, and great leftovers for lunches.
- half a pound whole wheat penne, ziti or rotini
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 3-4 T olive oil
- 1-2 (to taste – I like 1) T of balsamic vinegar
- 1 t crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 T dried basil
- about half a bag arugula or a spring mix
- cherry, grape or mini heirloom tomatoes, halved
- shredded carrots
- kalamata olives, chopped
- bell pepper, chopped
- …whatever other veggies you like!
Boil the pasta in salted water and drain thoroughly. Place in a large bowl and quickly toss with oil and vinegar to keep the noodles from sticking together. Add salt, pepper, garlic, and crushed pepper. Cover and place in the fridge until cooled completely.
Before serving, add vegetables and toss. If necessary, add a little more oil and vinegar to taste, but the existing oil should cover all of the veggies plus noodles without becoming too oily.
Leftovers keep very well, and all ingredients are very adjustable. Fun to update one of my long time favorites!