The Pasta Salad You'll Want to Eat All Summer Long

In honor of the Columbus Pride Festival this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, I shall call this Pride Pasta Salad. Taste the Rainbow.

Pasta Salad is tricky. It can be so boring, like the boxed stuff at the grocery store with it's powdery mix and dehydrated vegetables.

It can be tasty but fattening with mayonnaise and bacon. I mean, it's called "salad" after all, so shouldn't it resemble a salad?

Sometimes it's downright scary. Have you ever show up late to a barbecue and the only thing left is some suspicious pasta salad and you have no idea how long it's been sitting out? Do you play pasta salad roulette? Do you eat it and take the chance that you'll be stuck in the bathroom all afternoon with food poisoning?

Here is the recipe for my favorite pasta salad. I make it nearly every week in the summer, especially when I can use vegetables straight from my garden.

It's full of color and flavor that comes from roasting the vegetables. Roasted veggies really take it to the next level, and the best part is that you can substitute any vegetables you like. Personally, I like a rainbow of veggies, so let's call this Pride Pasta Salad.

  • 8 ounces (approx 3 cups) uncooked tri-color rotini pasta
  • Veggies (any veggies you like) - I used cherry tomatoes, an orange bell pepper, broccoli, and 1/2 a purple onion
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 t. dried basil
  • 1 t. dried oregano
  • 1/2 t. ground mustard seed
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/8 t. ground pepper
  • Optional garnish - basil, Parmesan cheese

1. Pre-heat oven to 450. Line a sheet pan with foil. Chop vegetables and arrange them on the sheet pan. Drizzle the veggies with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and garlic powder and roast them for 40 minutes, flipping them halfway through.

2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add salt to the water and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the box. 

3. Mix the dressing. In a small bowl, add the olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, basil, oregano, ground mustard, salt, and pepper. Mix well with a fork or whisk. 

4. When the pasta is done boiling, drain and add to a large bowl. Top with the roasted veggies and pour the dressing over everything. Toss to coat. Cover, and chill for a minimum of 6 hours in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to develop.