Colorful and hearty Italian pasta salad is a one-pot wonder for any veggie lover! Colorful veggies with an amazing Italian dressing is all it takes to take your vegetarian game up a notch!
As promised, here I come with a fabulous vegetarian recipe which is perfect for the summer! When a hardcore carnivorous recommends a vegetarian dish, you need to take it seriously. This is one classic pasta salad which will delight everyone because of the amazing dressing. I never thought I will like it so much but since I wanted to make a salad with pastas, I gave it a try. And thank God I did!
I adapted my recipe from a non-vegetarian version and initially I too thought of adding some grilled chicken to it. But after taste testing it, there was no need of any meat whatsoever. The Italian dressing complemented the pasta and the veggies so well that every spoon is a burst of flavors inside your mouth! If you are already a salad lover then I don’t need to tell you anything for selling this one, but if you are not, then this pasta salad will make you one!
Summer is almost gone from Bangalore. Yes, most other parts of India is still experiencing the summer heat, but Bangalore weather is different. The wind here is already chilling which will remain like this in the winter too as winter is not very strong here. But that can’t stop me from making and enjoying this best pasta salad. We loved it with a piece of barbeque chicken on the side which according to me is a match made in heaven!
My hubby is not so excited about salads but this grilled chicken was the bait for him! (We wifys have to do these sorts, isn’t it?) But yes, this pasta salad was loved by him too and I was so happy about it. He loves baked pastas or any saucy pastas, but cold pasta salads were not in his list of favorites. It may be either the grilled chicken or something else that made him love this one which is enough to make me happy.
Salads need time to get to its best taste and you cannot skip it. With time the ingredients in salad dressing matures and infuse their flavors into the veggies and pastas. You can make it even a night before and enjoy it in next day’s lunch. That way the veggies will get enough time to be familiar with each other and you will have the best possible taste.
I was always on the lookout for a good pasta salad recipe and there are way too many that we are spoilt for choices. Then I found this one in one of my favorite blogs – Six Sisters’ Stuff, which looked great and seemed to be delicious. And thankfully I had all the ingredients handy in my pantry. You can be as creative as you feel and add whatever veggies you love. As a suggestion, broccoli florets could be a great addition! This is that one salad which you cannot miss and would be perfect for bidding adieu to the almost wrapping-up summer.
- Farfalle pasta – 400 gms
- Cherry tomatoes – 1 cup, halved
- Green bell pepper – 1, diced
- Red bell pepper – 1, diced
- Black olives – 1, diced
- Grated Parmesan cheese – ½ cup
- Italian dressing – ½ cup
- Olive oil – 1 tbsp
- Olive oil – 6 tbsp
- White wine vinegar – 2 tbsp
- Fresh parsley – 2 tbsp, chopped
- Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
- Garlic – 2 cloves, minced
- Dried basil – 1 tsp, crumbled
- Dried crushed red pepper -1 tsp
- Dried oregano – ½ tsp
- Italian seasoning – 1 tsp
- Salt and pepper to taste
- To make the Italian salad dressing, combine all ingredients in small bowl and whisk vigorously for good 5 minutes to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. You can prepare it a day ahead and cover and refrigerate it until use.
- Cook pasta as directed on package. Once cooked, drain and rinse in cold water. Then drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil and toss the pasta to coat.
- Put diced bell peppers, olives and cherry tomatoes in a large bowl, add half of the dressing and half of the grated Parmesan. Toss them and check for seasoning. Add salt and pepper if needed.
- Now add cooked pasta and toss lightly. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Cover with a cling wrap and let it rest in fridge for at least couple of hours.
- Sprinkle some more Parmesan if desired before serving. Enjoy!