I love this Italian pasta salad because it uses up ingredients I usually have in my fridge, such as olives, sundried tomatoes, capers and marinated artichokes. This salad is ready to enjoy as soon as you finish making it, but will also keep well in the fridge for up to four days.
Italian Pasta Salad
- 1 cup orzo pasta
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 1/4 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil)
- 1/4 cup chopped marinated artichokes
- 1/4 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and pasta. Cook longer than the package suggests, usually 2-5 minutes longer. Drain well.
2. Place drained pasta in a large bowl along with chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, olives, red onion, basil and capers.
3. In a separate small bowl add garlic and red wine vinegar. Allow the garlic to soak for 5 minutes before whisking in the olive oil, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
4. Pour dressing over pasta salad and toss until well combined. Season to taste. Enjoy, or store covered in the refrigerator.
- As pasta, cools it hardens; therefore, when cooking pasta for a pasta salad it’s best to overcook the pasta so that it stays tender as it chills, especially if you’re making it ahead of time.
- To tame down the sharpness of the garlic, I allow it to soak in vinegar for a few minutes before continuing with the recipe.
- You can substitute dried basil for fresh basil.
(Kary Osmond is a Canadian recipe developer and former television host of the popular daytime cooking show “Best Recipes Ever.” Her easy recipes include helpful tips to guide you along the way, and her love of plant-based cooking offers healthy alternatives to some of your favorite dishes. Learn more at karyosmond.com.)
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