Remember that time I got home from Italy, swore off pasta, and then volunteered to make pasta salad for the 4th of July two days later?
I was possessed.
It’s the only explanation.
But really, what was I thinking swearing off pasta?!?!?
Obviously, I was under the impression that I am a much stronger willed person than I actually am.
Or I was just experiencing vacation withdrawal induced delusions.
One of the two.
To be fair, this is more like salad with some pasta thrown in for good measure and mass appeal than it is actual pasta.
So I could see how I could be confused.
Filled with every farmer’s market veggie under the sun in raw, unadulterated, finely diced form, this salad is pretty much the picture of summer spirit (aka intense laziness that makes you not want to turn on the oven) and is done in as much time as it takes to boil water.
A jazzed up basil pesto vinaigrette that’s laced with harissa for some secret spice gets into all of its crevices and keeps things interesting.
Everyone (veggie haters included!!) kept going back for seconds at our 4th of July fiesta and it was all I could do to not snatch the pasta bowl from their hands and elope with it. I’m sure sharing is caring in most cases, but not when it comes between me and pasta salad leftovers. At least not when they taste this good.
- ½ cup packed fresh basil
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 tbsp pine nuts
- ½ cup olive oil
- 4 tbsp harissa
- Juice of 1 medium lemon
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 lb farfalle
- 2 red bell peppers, diced
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 bunch lacinato kale, stemmed and shredded
- ¾ lb ciliegine (mini mozzarella balls), cut into 6ths
- For the basil pesto vinaigrette, combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until chopped into very small pieces. With the food processor still running, add in the olive oil, harissa, and lemon juice and puree until smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions, until al dente. Drain well.
- Toss the pasta with the bell peppers, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and kale. Stir in the dressing and mozzarella balls, until combined. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Pasta salad love!
From Around the Web:
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta Salad from Cookie + Kate
Greek Pasta Salad from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice
Peaches and Greens Pasta Salad from Nosh and Nourish
Mediterranean Couscous Salad from Food Faith Fitness
Mexican Tortellini Salad from Two Peas & Their Pod