Servings: 4 portions

For the Salad

  • 8 oz uncooked short pasta of your preference
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 cups finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 cups pitted and chopped kalamata olives
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes

For the Dressing

  • 1/2 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper or to taste
Tasked to bring a pasta salad to a picnic? Planning a lunch salad? I’ve got you covered with this pretty salad recipe – check it out. 
I used casarecce for this recipe, but any short pasta works well. You can play with colorful pasta and different shapes to make it fun. Summer spells sweet cherry tomatoes and fresh basil! Put this pasta salad together in less than 15 minutes: make the dressing while your pasta cooks “al dente”, then put them together. How easy is that?
  • Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water, according to package instructions, until “al dente” (tender but still firm to the bite). Drain.
  • Drain and rinse under cold water and drain again. Let it cool for 5 minutes.
  • In a food processor or blender, pulse all the dressing ingredients 3 or 4 times until the basil is broken down, releasing its wonderful oil into the dressing! Do not liquefy because you want to be able to see the basil and have its texture in the dressing. You will be surprised how quickly we can get the dressing infused with basil in such a short time. The basil flavor will be more intense than if you chop it up and add it to the salad.
  • In a large bowl, add the red onions, cover with the dressing and let it rest for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and toss to combine.