It could just be me, but I feel like this is the summer of the cold noodle salad. Perhaps I’m just in the mood to eat them, but it seems like every time I turn around I’m seeing another recipe for cold noodle or pasta salads. Brian and I have enjoyed a few already this summer and I have a list of recipes I want to make. In addition to the fact that carbohydrates are my very favorite food group and that pasta is my favorite food in that group, cold noodle salads have a lot going for them.
Cold pasta salads, especially this one, are awesome because they make life easier. It’s not hard to make a batch of pasta or noodles, let them cool, mix in ingredients (my Cold Vegetarian Italian Pasta Salad ingredients hardly require any preparation!) and store the salad in the fridge. No oven required.
This recipe made so much food that Brian and I are both eating it for lunch every day this week. I’ve been trying to get complete some tasks I’ve been putting off and knowing that lunch is waiting for me the fridge saves time and keeps me from getting distracted. Headed to a party or picnic? Tomatoes, basil and mozzarella are among the flavors of summer and I bet this dish will be a hit.
Cold Vegetarian Italian Pasta Salad
- 13.25 ounces whole wheat pasta you can use white or gluten free here as well
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 14 ounces canned artichoke hearts drained
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella
- 4 ounces pitted Kalamata olives
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, pour into a large bowl and set aside until no longer hot.
- Meanwhile, or once your pasta is cool (whatever works for your schedule!), prepare your vegetables: quarter each of the grape tomatoes, roughly chop the artichoke hearts, fresh mozzarella and olives. Chiffonade the basil leaves by removing them from the stems, stacking and rolling the leaves and then thinly slices (see more instructions here)
- Add the vegetables and basil to the cooled pasta. Drizzle with the 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Toss the pasta and vegetables together with a spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste, if needed.
- Serve immediately at room temperature, or cool in the refrigerator until ready to serve and eat.