Mediterranean Penne Pasta Salad – When Pasta Primps

mediterranean pasta salad
This is my gratuitous la la land post. All fashion, no function. All style, no substance. Ridiculously good looking, though it probably would not go well with an Orange Mocha Frappuccino.

It’s a nice picture of a pasta salad, if I do say so myself. Technically, it is in focus, and well-lit. The content itself is colorful, balanced, and sparkles. It certainly gives me this feeling of “fresh” and “summer.” To some extent, I also think “sexy” because of the deep, dark red of the sun-dried tomatoes and the way the ingredients are glistening and tumbling all over each other. It looks good. It looks so faaaabulous, dahling, I just want to *airkisskiss* it on either side.


Unfortunately, there is nothing inherently interesting about pasta salad. It is pasta. It is vegetables. It is “dressing” – sometimes a tart, tangy vinaigrette, sometimes a naughty, creamy mayonnaise. Good grief, you could just shake something out of a bottle in a fit of Sandra Lee hysterics and it would still be okay.

So there is nothing interesting to write about pasta salad, mine or in general. It is pasta salad, for fox ache. There is no interesting back-story of how I went to the farmers’ market and met some gorgeous guy because we both reached for the same head of lettuce and then went back to his place to make sweet, sweet…pasta salad. I also refuse to research the history of pasta salad on The Internets. I will leave that to Jim O’Connor.

And you know what? I spent time primping my pasta salad because I knew. I knew that, if nothing else, at least it had to look good.

I *cringe* thinking that I am posting this “recipe” for my pasta salad because really now, a “recipe” for pasta salad is like a “recipe” for cold cereal. Put it in a bowl.

Summery Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Cook 12-16 ounces of any short pasta according to package directions. Do not rinse, but you knew that already.

While the pasta is cooking, whisk together ¼ c. olive oil, 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and 1 finely minced clove of fresh garlic. If you like things spicy, you can add a few teaspoons of crushed red pepper. If you’re fancy, you can other herbs, too. Like fresh ones. Oooo.

Toss hot pasta with dressing until well coated.

I added the following to the pasta in the given amounts, but you can add according to your taste preference: 1 c. finely shredded red-leaf lettuce, 2 diced fresh Roma tomatoes, 6 sun-dried tomatoes that have been snipped, chiffonade of 3 large leaves of fresh basil, ½ c. diced mozzarella cheese, ½ c. brine-cured olives sliced in half, and about 2-3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese.

*head falls with a thud onto keyboard* I can’t believe I just posted this “recipe.”

** a year ago today, my souffle got a little too sexy **

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous June 22, 2006 at 3:15 am

where di you get this?


2 sarah June 23, 2006 at 8:05 pm

anonymous: i made it!


3 dorkie June 28, 2006 at 11:36 pm

*humpf* are you mocking me???? *kick*


4 sarah June 30, 2006 at 4:21 pm

dorkie: gorgeous girl, not mocking you! i always just *feel* weird when i post any recipe, let alone something for pasta salad, because that means i assume that someone else will actually want to make it. and who the hell would want to make anything i’ve made? ok, i guess you. but it was easy, right?


5 dorkie July 3, 2006 at 5:22 am

woman! i loooove the things you make! perhaps its the pictures that entice me. they look sooo good online! i just let my mom try my version of this tonight and she loved it. verdict is not in from eric yet so we’ll see. i put eggplant and zuchinni in there as well, but no sun-dried tomatoes for me. oh.. and i added abit of arugula. but it’s very healthy and light. I LOVE IT!


6 sarah July 3, 2006 at 8:11 pm

dorkie: oooo….eggplant and zucchini sound like awesome additions to it. i love eggplant. lovelovelove.

and this is perfect for the vegetarian BF!


7 Anonymous July 5, 2006 at 6:37 am

Hi – This recipe looks good! There’s one very similar to it in the American Medical Association Family Health Cookbook (Summer Formal Bow Ties recipe) which I had been eyeing earlier. I’m glad you tried it and had good results. I look forward to making it sometime soon – thanks!


8 jim April 24, 2008 at 11:58 pm

Great recipe,

I was looking for something new to try for the family. I modified it a bit – a few extra chesses, more lettuce, and a few extra toppings. Everyone loved it – even my finicky daughter.


9 luz October 3, 2008 at 8:19 pm

me llamo luz caqui y quiero decirte que es justo lo que buscaba una receta facil y rapida por que la voy a incluir en mis recetas yo soy salad maker en la white house en washington dc espero tener exito con esta receta


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