The Perfect Pasta Salad

Pasta salad has a special place in our hearts. It not only evokes memories of simple and delicious childhood family lunches or sunny summer picnics, but it’s also a universal favorite dish to share with others. Who hasn’t prepped a quick pasta salad the day before a family barbecue or a fun get together for friends? This recipe is fresh and perfect for a fantastic al fresco lunch.

Don’t Throw Away Your Veggies!

We all get to the point when we have some sad looking vegetables just waiting to be discarded. And we are always encouraging you to find ways to make use of them in soups or stews, but this pasta salad would be a perfect choice too.

For this recipe, you’ll need pasta (any short shape you prefer is fine), cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red onion, green bell pepper, parsley, black olives, garbanzo beans, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. You could easily use up any about-to-go-bad cucumbers, peppers, parsley, or onion. A great tip we can share with you is to place your limp veggies (like carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, herbs, or others) in a bowl with water and ice. If you leave them there for a few minutes, they will get crispier and fresher. Give it a try!

As always, we recommend using up all your produce before buying more. Get ready to get very creative!

Better Overnight

Some dishes get better with time. This perfect pasta salad is one of them. If you have the chance to prepare this salad the night before and leave it inside your refrigerator overnight, please do! It allows for the flavors and juices to combine even better and takes the flavor to a whole new level. You could do this with or without the dressing depending on how you like the texture. Enjoy!

Recommended equipment:

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

Ingredients

  • 1 (16-ounce) package of pasta
  • 1 cup of sliced and halved cucumbers
  • 1 cup of halved cherry tomatoes
  • ¾ cup of diced red onion
  • ½ cup of diced green bell pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of minced curly parsley
  • 1 (2.25-ounce) can of sliced black olives, drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can of garbanzo beans
  • ⅛ cup of olive oil
  • ⅛ to ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

Method

Step 1

In a medium pot over medium-high heat, cook the pasta according to the package instructions.

Step 2

While the pasta cooks, combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and mix them together.

Step 3

Add the cooked pasta and thoroughly combine. Allow to cool in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.


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