Summery Pasta Salad
In my mind, there are two types of pasta salad. There is PASTA salad, which is primarily a pasta dish with some sort of dressing and maybe a little bit of other stuff thrown in for flavor. Then there is pasta SALAD, which is packed full of salad veggies and just happens to have some pasta thrown in for fun. This is definitely the latter, as I’m always trying to find ways to get more veggies into my diet.Like so many “recipes” on this website, this is just a starting point. My dish was made, as I always do, with what I had on hand: half an orange pepper, some cubes of Parmigiano leftover from an event the week before, some red onion lurking in the drawer of my refrigerator, etc. You can make this same dish with whatever vegetables you like best and what you have on hand. Skip the cheese or change it up. Ditch the pine nuts if you don’t have any on hand. You get the idea, right?
- ½ sweet bell pepper, chopped small (any color)
- ½ cucumber, seeded and chopped small
- ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
- 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
- A big handful of arugula, roughly chopped
- Basil, finely chopped (amount to taste)
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
- ½ cup Parmigiano cheese (I used small pieces, but you can also shave the cheese)
- 3 ounces short pasta, cooked al dente, drained, and rinsed to cool
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Combine the vegetables, pine nuts, cheese, and pasta in a large bowl. Add the lemon juice and olive oil and toss to coast. Season to taste with salt and pepper.