Italian Pasta Salad is a healthy version of the traditional classic. A beautiful blend of cherry tomatoes, olives, and fresh herbs makes this pasta salad come alive with flavor. This recipe is perfect for any time of year. The best part is that the dish is made in under 30 minutes, making it an easy side dish or a great lunch option. Full of nutrient rich ingredients so you dont feel guilty about eating Pasta Salad.
What goes well with Pasta Salad
Pasta salad is great to serve on the side of a delicious sandwich, preferably an Italian sandwich or with any fish or chicken recipe. Usually you want to serve this dish with a light main entree. Its perfect for a barbecue when you have a lot of grilled meats/fish. This dish can also be served as your main entree with a side of fresh focaccia.
Is Pasta Salad served hot or cold?
What is great about this recipe is that it tastes good hot or cold. There is no rule about what temperature it should be. Its delicious no matter what!
Can this Pasta Salad be made Gluten Free?
Yes feel free to substitute the pasta for any type of gluten free pasta that you desire.
What you will need
- cutting board
- chopping knife
- medium sauce pan
- medium pot
- wooden spoons
- large serving bowl
Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- 1 box of rotini pasta
- 1 jar of green olives chopped
- 1/2 pound of pancetta
- 1 jar of Kalamata olives chopped
- 3 cloves of crushed and chopped garlic
- 1/2 can of anchovy filets chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped basil
- 1/4 cup chopped mint
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 2 tsp crushed red pepper
- salt/pepper for taste
- olive oil
- zest from lemon
- 1 container of ricotta cheese
- Place water in a large stock pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Once water is boiling add your Rotini pasta and cook until al dente. Add a dash of olive oil to the water to help prevent the pasta from sticking together.
- While pasta is boiling start cooking your olive mixture. Place a medium/large pan over medium heat. Cover the bottom of the pan with olive oil. Add your pancetta to the pan and sauté until browned. Next, add the garlic and anchovies mixing with the pancetta for a couple of minutes. Add your olives and tomatoes to the pan. Saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes. You want your tomatoes to get lightly blistered. Next, add your chopped herbs, mixing well to combine all of the ingredients. Add crushed red pepper and a touch of lemon zest. Reduce heat to low and taste your mixture to see if salt needs to be added, adjust accordingly. Finish with a freshly ground pepper.
- Once pasta is done cooking, drain water into a colander. Place pasta back into the stock pot and pour olive mixture on top. Mix well! If the mixture seems a little dry you can add some additional olive oil.