This light, fresh pasta salad with cherry tomatoes and other in-season veggies is perfect for a summer dinner, side or neighborhood party. This recipe was passed down from my Grannie, and with a couple tweaks, I’ve perfected it. The red onion adds just a touch of heat and the creamy dressing brings everything together. This is one of my husband, Reggie’s, favorites, so needless to say, I make it A LOT. It’s great the next day as well, after all the flavors have time to get to know each other.
My mom doesn’t process gluten all that well, so sometimes we make this with gluten free pasta, and if not, she will toss a bit of chopped lettuce in her salad to lighten it up a bit more.
We are also huge garlic fans and love roasting the stuff. It’s perfect spread over slices of toasted French bread and goes great with this pasta salad. You can see the recipe for that here: Roasted Garlic on Bread.
Summer Pasta Salad with Cherry Tomates
- 12 oz Mini Farfalle pasta
- 8 oz jar kalamata olives sliced
- 1/2 red onion finely diced
- 8 oz jar artichoke hearts drained roughly chopped
- 1/2 cucumber roughly peeled and chopped
- 1 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 1 cup frozen peas thawed
- 2 heads of broccoli cut in small pieces and steamed
- 1/2 cup Homemade Creamy Ranch dressing or store bought
- 1/4 cup Italian dressing
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Bring a medium pot of water to boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Pour it through a strainer in the sink and rinse with cold water to stop the pasta from cooking any longer. This also cools it down, so if you’re eating right away, your salad isn’t warm.
- Dice the onion, roughly chop the artichokes, roughly peel the cucumber and chop, and slice the cherry tomatoes in half. Place peas in a small bowl and microwave for a minute or until thawed. Cut the broccoli head into small pieces, place in a bowl and add a tablespoon of water, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave for two minutes.
- In a large bowl add the pasta, olives, onion, artichokes, cucumbers and tomatoes (I like to sprinkle a little salt on the tomatoes and let them sit for 10 minutes or so in the bowl while I’m preparing the rest of the dish, to bring out their juicy flavor), peas, and broccoli.
- In a small bowl, whisk the ranch and Italian dressings together, and add a pinch of salt and few grinds of pepper. Feel free to taste the dressing to adjust to your liking.
- Toss the dressing in the pasta salad, add a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper, and the parmesan cheese.