If I have to say anything about pasta salads it will be that there are so many varieties out there it’s hard to count them all. But what if you find THE one that sticks with you for years and is your go-to recipe for summer picnics and cookouts, game nights with friends and just plain cozy weather comfort food? Well, you just might find that one recipe here today 😉
This pasta salad is so delicious every time I make it two things happen: 1) the whole pot is gone in our home within two days; 2) every person who tries it for the first time compliments and asks for the recipe.
It is very quick and easy to make and is quite budget friendly. If you don’t overcook your pasta and it is “al dente” like it should be, your salad will also be quite healthy.
As far as modifications go, I wouldn’t recommend substituting anything, but if you don’t like asparagus (who doesn’t like asparagus??) try using some other steamed vegetable like brussel sprouts or broccolini. I don’t recommend using extra virgin olive oil because it makes the salad taste bitter. I use just plain olive oil that’s not extra virgin. You can also use canola oil if you like.
Here is the recipe:
- Penne pasta, 1 lbs (450 gram)
- Asparagus, 1 bunch
- Artichoke hearts, 1 small can (I get a 7.5 oz can)
- Petite diced tomatoes, 28 oz.
- Olive oil, 1-2 Tbsp
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling
- 1. Cook pasta "al dente" according to package directions, usually for about 11 minutes. Do not overcook!
- 2. While pasta is cooking, take your asparagus by the two ends and bend it to the breaking point. It will make a crisp snap. Keep the top part and toss the bottom woody part into the trash. Chop your asparagus tops into 1.5-2 inch long pieces. Steam for about 3 min. (I usually put them in a bowl, add a bit of water and microwave for about 3 min. until bright green and soft but still crisp).
- 3. When pasta is done, drain and set aside in a large bowl.
- 4. Add petite diced tomatoes, artichoke hearts, steamed asparagus, olive oil and salt & pepper. If you have a favorite spice that will go well here you can add it at this point as well.
- 5. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese before serving.
- Bon app! 🙂
- Store this pasta salad in a fridge for up to a week. Perfect lunch dish! 😉