Who doesn’t love a good ol’ pasta salad! Well, me actually. Whenever I see a pasta salad at a barbecue or any sort of potluck I would always make sure to steer clear of what is usually overcooked pasta drenched in mayonnaise. Just can’t do it.
This recipe however is my new favourite. First of all, it features the funnest pasta shape of all – trompetti or little trumpets. 🙂 (Trompetti pasta is not crucial to the success of this salad. I just chose it because it looked so awesome! Use any small pasta you can find.) Secondly, it’s packed with colourful veggies, zesty green and black olives and dressed with garlic and basil vinaigrette. In other words, it’s definitely not lacking in flavour and much friendlier on the waistline.
The recipe comes from Jamie Oliver’s “Happy Days with the Naked Chef”. I absolutely love his style and approach to food and cooking in general as evident by my extensive collection of his cookbooks and the frequent use of recipes from his books on this blog. I made slight adaptations to the original recipe by making the dressing into a basil garlic vinaigrette and adding red and yellow bell peppers.
What we enjoyed the most about this pasta salad was the feeling that we were actually eating a SALAD with all those veggies and not just a glob of pasta. It’s a truly fantastic summer side dish to complement grilled meats or a tasty lunch on its own. If you wish to add some protein or extra deliciousness to your salad serve it with a ball of fresh mozzarella.
Try this recipe and it will become the favourite to bring to picnics and barbecues! It doesn’t wilt, it doesn’t get soggy, it’s the perfect summer salad that even salad haters will adore!
- 250 g- small pasta
- 3-cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 2 cups- yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 cups- red cherry tomatoes, halved
- ¼ cup black olives, pitted and halved
- ¼ cup- green olives, pitted and halved
- 2 tablespoons- fresh chives, chopped
- ½- red pepper, diced
- ½- yellow bell pepper, diced
- ½ cup- fresh basil
- 4 tablespoons- white wine vinegar, or to taste
- 7 tablespoons- extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Cook pasta according to the package directions together with unpeeled cloves of garlic. Drain pasta, remove garlic cloves, peel them and set aside for the vinaigrette. Cool pasta.
- In a large bowl combine red and yellow peppers, red and yellow tomatoes, black and green olives and chives.
- In a food processor or a blender combine basil, white wine vinegar and cooked garlic cloves, process till smooth. With a motor of your food processor still running open the shoot and pour in olive oil in a thin steady stream, blend for 30 seconds till smooth.
- Add pasta to the bowl with vegetables, mix gently and dress with the basil vinaigrette.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Chill in the refrigerator for the flavour to meld for one hour before serving.