Hot take: creamy/zesty Italian salad dressing is gross. I have seen it on lettuce, on pasta, even as a marinade for chicken. None of these options bring a smile to my face. On top of tasting weird these dressings also have way more sugar than anything going on a salad should ever have.
But despite this I still have a certain sense of love over the idea of a pasta salad. After all pasta and vegetables are always a great pairing, and the idea of a zingy sauce makes complete sense.
I found inspiration for my pasta salad recipe from Italian American markets. From the capers, sundried tomatoes, and olives that you would find in any store’s Italian section to the homemade balsamic vinaigrette and pop of fresh tomato this bowl of pasta salad makes perfect sense resting between veal cutlets and caprese salad in a deli case.
And the best part? Almost all the ingredients are basic pantry ingredients anyway. Skip the trip to the market and have a bright pasta salad at home.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- Juice of one lemon
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
- 1 lb tricolor pasta
- 1 pint halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 small can sliced black olives, drained
- 1 tbsp drained capers
- 1 1/2 tbsp chopped sundried tomatoes
Combine the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, sugar, salt, pepper, and herbs. Mix together until a vinaigrette is formed, set aside.
Cook the pasta according to package instructions and drain. In a large bowl combine the pasta, tomatoes, capers, and olives. Top with the dressing and mix until everything is evenly coated.