summer pasta salad

This is the second post in a series called From the Mixed Up Manila Folder where I am cooking from a collection of assorted recipes clipped from magazines and copied from cookbooks. 

I admit that I am a lazy cook. I like the end result but I don’t like the part that involves a ton of chopping or a lot of stress. And I especially prefer when I already have every ingredient in the pantry/fridge/garden that I need without having to make a grocery trip.

That’s why this recipe floats my boat. It can be whipped up in 30 minutes and made in advance. In fact, it even tastes better if made ahead because the flavors meld and the pasta soaks up the dressing.


Let’s see. This summer pasta salad is an excellent candidate for your next potluck dish or a light weeknight dinner. You can adjust it to your taste buds by adding diced mozzarella cheese, shredded chicken or turkey, cooked beans or any other add-ins your heart desires.

This recipe can easily feature your favorite summer veggies or whatever is in season at the farmer’s market. I used the fresh tomatoes and cute little green peppers from the garden.



Summer Pasta Salad

Slightly adapted from Mollie Katzen’s Get Cooking 

Serves 4

12 oz pasta such as small penne or fusilli (whole grain works well and has a wonderful chewiness)


1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

Salt to taste

1/4 teaspoon fine ground black pepper

Your favorite additions 

1/2 fresh corn kernels or frozen corn

1 bell pepper (any color) diced into bite-sized pieces

1-2 tomatoes, chopped or 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cucumber, chopped (seeds removed if using the English variety)

1 carrot, shredded

Shredded cooked chicken breast, diced deli meat, cooked beans

Cook pasta according to package instructions. If using frozen corn, add corn into boiling water to allow it to thaw. Drain pasta.

While pasta is cooking, whisk together dressing ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Add pasta while still warm to allow cheese to melt.

Add in vegetables, beans and meat if using. Stir everything together. Allow to cool to room temperature and serve. Alternately, refrigerate salad overnight and allow flavors to blend.


What kind of summer salads are y’all enjoying?

Let me know in the comments!






4 thoughts on “summer pasta salad

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