If I had a dime for every time that someone in my house requested pasta, I would be a very rich woman. Heck, I would be a woman on a whirlwind trip to Europe … for the rest of the year.
Growing up, pasta salad was one of my very favorite summer dishes. I could eat it and eat it and eat it … but as an adult, I just haven’t made it as often. As a result, my kids haven’t had it too much either … but after tonight, that has to change. I knew they would love the artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers and olives in this. But when Will dove in for seconds, it was clear that this was a slam dunk
Pasta salad travels well — so it’s perfect for picnics, barbecues, school lunch, dinners, whatever.
This particular version brings in elements of Antipasti – artichoke hearts (marinated are best!), roasted red peppers, olives. You can also toss in some cubed fresh mozzarella and/or cubed salami, but it’s up to you. Choose an Italian dressing with balsamic vinegar that you love — the flavor of the dressing is an important influencer here. I used one from Trader Joe’s that I adore.
And this is also a fab recipe to make with kids. Simple, tasty, kid-friendly. Perfect!
Looking for more fun pasta salad ideas? Check out my latest post on Tablespoon, Fresh Takes on Pasta Salads.
- 1 lb. rotini pasta
- 1 12 oz. jar artichoke hearts , drained
- 1 12 oz. jar roasted red peppers , drained
- 1 3.8 oz. can sliced black olives , drained
- 1 8 oz. bottle Italian dressing with balsamic vinegar
Cook the pasta according to package directions. You want to cook it about a minute past al dente for a softer texture, since it will firm when cooled. Drain well and add to a large bowl.
Chop the artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers.
KID STEP: Add the artichoke hearts, red peppers and olives to the pasta and mix well.
KID STEP: Pour the dressing in and stir to coat. Chill for at least 30 minutes -- until ready to serve.
Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. Her latest cookbook is The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook, published by Rockridge Press, which focuses on quick, easy, from-scratch cooking for busy people. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.