Summer Italian Pasta Salad

Summer Italian Pasta Salad

A summer Italian pasta salad is a fantastic dish that's vibrant, refreshing, and perfect for picnics, barbecues, or any summer gathering. Here's a delightful recipe for a Summer Italian Pasta Salad:

Summer Italian Pasta Salad Ingredients

8 oz (about 225 g) pasta (penne, fusilli, or your choice)

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cup cucumber, diced

1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced

1/2 cup yellow bell pepper, diced

1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped

1/3 cup black olives, sliced

1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped or torn

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled (optional)

Salt and black pepper to taste

For the Dressing:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon honey (or maple syrup for a vegan option)

Salt and black pepper to taste


Cook Pasta: Cook the pasta according to the package instructions in a large pot of salted boiling water. Once cooked, drain the pasta and rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking process. Transfer the pasta to a large mixing bowl.

Prepare Vegetables: While the pasta is cooking, prepare the vegetables. With a chef’s knife or prep knife, halve the cherry tomatoes, dice the cucumbers and bell peppers, and finely chop the red onion. Slice the black olives and chop the fresh basil and parsley.

Assemble Salad: Add the cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber, red and yellow bell peppers, red onion, black olives, chopped basil, and parsley to the bowl with the cooked pasta.

Prepare Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, Dijon mustard, honey or maple syrup, salt, and black pepper to create the dressing.

Combine & Toss: Pour the dressing over the pasta and vegetables in the bowl. Gently toss everything together until the pasta and vegetables are evenly coated with the dressing. This ensures all the flavors meld together.

Add Feta (Optional): If using feta cheese, crumble it over the salad and gently fold it in with the other ingredients.

Chill & Serve: Cover the bowl and refrigerate the Summer Pasta Salad for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and for the salad to chill. Before serving, give it a gentle toss to redistribute the dressing.

Serve & Enjoy: Serve the pasta salad in a large serving bowl or dish. It’s a colorful and flavorful dish that’s perfect for summer gatherings or as a light meal on its own.

This Summer Italian Pasta Salad is bursting with vibrant colors, fresh flavors, and a delightful combination of vegetables and pasta. Enjoy its freshness and the taste of summer with every forkful! 

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