Last Updated on by Sabina
What is Pasta Salad?
Pasta salad is a popular dish that combines cooked pasta with various vegetables, herbs, dressings, and sometimes proteins. It is typically served chilled and makes for a refreshing and versatile meal or side dish. There are countless variations of pasta salad, allowing you to customize it to your taste preferences. Here’s a basic recipe to get you started:
- 8 ounces of pasta (such as rotini, penne, or bowtie)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup cucumber, diced
- 1/2 cup bell peppers, diced (you can use a mix of colors)
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup black olives, sliced
- 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
Pasta Salad Instructions
- Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cherry tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, red onion, black olives, feta cheese (if using), and basil.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper to make the dressing.
- Add the cooked and cooled pasta to the bowl of vegetables. Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and toss gently to combine, ensuring all the ingredients are well coated.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed with salt and pepper.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flavors to meld together.
- Before serving, give the pasta salad a good stir and garnish with additional fresh basil if desired.
Feel free to add your own twist to this basic recipe. You can incorporate other ingredients like grilled chicken, shrimp, or roasted vegetables, and experiment with different dressings and herbs to suit your taste. Enjoy your pasta salad!