Tomato Pasta Salad is a refreshing change for a summer salad. This version features three different kinds of tomatoes - cherry, sun-dried, and paste - to amp up the zesty flavour. The savoury tomato dressing keeps well, making it an ideal salad for potlucks, picnics, and barbecues.
Summer is officially here. The garden is planted, our world is green, and we're wearing shorts and sandals. We've had lots of rain lately so the garden seedlings have been exploding with growth (along with the weeds)! Every morning I wander out to the garden to have my little recharge for the day. I look to see what's newly sprung, inhale deeply of the cool fresh air, and check out what needs attention. I like to snap off an asparagus sprout (done for the season, now, sadly) or nip a few leaves of lettuce to munch on while I meander the rows. Pippa trots along at my side, looking to see if there's anything edible for her yet. I water the tomatoes in the greenhouse and pinch out any shoots to keep them trim.
Summer Time is Salad Time
I love this time of year, with all the promise of good things to come. We've got two glorious months of summer stretching out ahead of us, and this year we'll hopefully get to do more entertaining out in our yard again. I'm looking forward to picnics, barbecues, and long leisurely lunches on the deck or around the firepit. This Triple Tomato Pasta Salad is definitely going to be in rotation. I've had the recipe in my head for months, and when I set about making it up, the flavour surpassed even what I had imagined. It's got zip and pizzazz, and will be a tasty addition to summer meals.
Pasta Salads signify summer to me - ready for packing along on a picnic or serving as a side dish to an outdoor barbecue feast with friends. This version is particularly delicious in all its ruby red tomato glory. Adding the bright sweetness of fresh cherry tomatoes (we got a few punnets of some wonderfully sweet ones at the farmers market last week), the intense zing of sun-dried tomatoes, and the richness of tomato paste to the dressing makes for a triple threat tomato tornado of a pasta salad.
Triple Tomato Pasta Salad is 'da Bomb'
And it's pretty easy to make, too. All you'll need is some cooked rotini or other spiral pasta (for maximum coating of the delicious dressing), regular or gluten free, cherry tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, sweet onion, black olives, feta cheese, and the quick and easy tomato vinaigrette.
Pour over the rich red dressing and toss it all together.
Voilà. You've got a big bowl of Tomato Pasta Salad. It's great to take to picnics and barbecues (no mayonnaise to worry about) and keeps super well in the fridge for days. You can easily make this salad ahead of time for your next gathering or just to have on hand for easy family meals.
Take a look at these other Easy Pasta Salads:
Or try these other Terrific Tomato Salads:
- 'Tomatensalat' Classic German Tomato Salad
- Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad
- Lobster Salad with Charred Corn & Tomatoes
Summer Livin' is easy when you've got a few tasty tricks up your sleeve!
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Triple Tomato Pasta Salad
For the Salad:
- 340 grams (12oz) rotini pasta, or other corkscrew pasta, gluten free if necessary (6 cups cooked pasta)
- 1 pint (2 cups/300gms) cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup (70gms) diced sweet onion
- ½ cup (85gms) drained sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil with herbs
- ½ cup (50gms) pitted black olives, sliced or chopped
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley (a good handful)
- 1 cup (130gms) crumbled feta cheese
For the Tomato Dressing:
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) red wine vinegar
- 6 tablespoons (90ml) mild olive oil
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon honey or 2 teaspoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Cook the pasta in unsalted water according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process, and drain again.
- Put the cooled, cooked pasta in a large bowl. Cut the cherry tomatoes into halves and add them to the pasta.
- Finely dice the sweet onion, coarsely chop the sun-dried tomatoes, chop the parsley, and slice or chop the olives and add them all to the pasta.
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a bowl or jar. Pour the dressing over the pasta and vegetables. Toss to combine and coat everything with the dressing.
- Add the feta cheese, if using, and toss again gently to mix it into the salad. It is best if you can leave the salad for about 20 minutes to meld the flavours before serving it.
- Makes 10 cups of pasta salad, serving 8 to 10. Leftover salad keeps well in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.
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