When it comes to summer…. I love pasta salads. They are easy to throw together and they are travel friendly so I can pack them up when we travel to the lake. This recipe is a very light and simply seasoned pasta salad so you don’t feel to weighed down when you eat it. It is packed with colorful veggies and a light dressing that just pairs well with any dish you serve with it this summer.
This recipe is always highly requested when we BBQ at the lake or when we throw a family get together during the summer time. You can serve hot, cold or at room temp and it is simply delicious. The longer it sits, the better it is…in my opinion but, you can serve at anytime.
Anyway, let’s get right into the recipe.
1 lb bowtie pasta (or any other small pasta you like)
1/2 cucumber- diced
1/2 bell pepper – diced
1/3 cup black olives – sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes- halved
1 cup cheddar cheese- cubed
1/2 onion- diced
1/4 cup slivered almonds- toasted
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 to 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp walnut oil
- In a bowl combine the onion and about 1/2 to 1 cup of cold water. Stir and set aside.
- In a dry skillet over low heat add the almonds and stir until the almonds are nice and golden brown. Remove to a plate to cool completely.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat. Add about 2 tbsp of salt to the water and stir to combine. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain well and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Add the pasta to a large bowl.
- Add in the cucumber, bell pepper, olives, tomatoes, cheese, and drain the onion and add to the mix along with the cheese. Toss and set aside for now.
- In a small bowl whisk together the Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, white wine vinegar, olive oil and walnut oil until well combined. Add to the pasta and toss well to make sure all the pasta is well coated. Check the seasoning and adjust to taste.
- Cover and chill until ready to serve or you can serve right away.
- if you can not find walnut oil don’t stress… just omit it. Not a problem.
- Add in as much or as little red pepper flakes as you like. If you don’t like red pepper flakes.. omit them.
- You can adjust to your taste…. It is your kitchen.