What’s a summer celebration without pasta salad? This recipe is so simple, it takes just 6 ingredients but is bursting with flavour from roasted tomatoes, balsamic and rocket. It is the epitome of a summer dish!
I love pasta salads. They are the perfect way to repurpose pasta as a light and fresh summer meal rather than a heavy and comforting winter one.
It’s nearly summerrrrr! I can’t wait for beautiful sunshine and tans and a big beaming smile on my face. Summer is my season, it fills me with joy and happiness.
Not only do I love warmth and sun I also love summer food. I love the British traditions of barbecues with slightly burned food and forcing yourself to sit in a beer garden slightly too early in the year and shivering your way through a pub meal before retreating inside.
And I love summer meals like this.
We first made this a few weeks ago, slightly before the weather really warranted it but I wanted to perfect the ultimate summer recipe in time for barbecue and picnic season and I think I’ve really done it.
Since pasta has always been one of my favourite foods it only follows that pasta salad has always been one of my favourite dishes and I’m always happy when I get to celebrate summer with a big bowl of it.
I think it’s especially great to have a good vegetarian version in your back pocket when you want a light and fresh summer dish.
Ingredients you need to make this simple pasta salad with balsamic:
- Pasta: We used wholewheat penne but whatever short cut you have will work
- Olive Oil
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Cherry Tomatoes: Roasted until super sweet
- Rocket (Arugula)
- Salt and Pepper
So this particular recipe is a combination of a few beautiful summer ingredients.
We’ve got the penne, we used wholewheat but use whatever you’ve got, then there’s some cherry tomatoes roasted until they’re super sweet and bursting. Basil and rocket (arugula) make up the green freshness portion of the salad and then it’s just a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil to finish things off.
It’s great warm or cold, for lunch or dinner and for main course or as a side dish.
I especially love the roasted cherry tomatoes in there. Roasting them adds so much sweetness to them which is especially good here in the UK when, even in tomato season, you’re still in danger of ending up with a flavourless tomato from the supermarket.
It also has the added benefit of creating an extra saucy element to the pasta salad. Once the tomatoes have burst their juice coats the pasta and I always make sure to add in all the tomatoey olive oil from the bottom of the roasting tray as well. It’s crazy delicious.
This is going to be the recipe I make all summer long. It’s easy enough to make before every barbecue and picnic we have and is great for a make ahead dish as well.
You could even make it for meal prep and have it for lunches all through the week. This for lunch everyday is extremely welcome in my summer life.
Tips for making this penne pasta salad with balsamic:
- Since this is so simple it’s a good idea to get the best quality ingredients so you can to really let them shine.
- We used wholewheat pasta to up the healthiness a bit but use whichever pasta you prefer. Any shortcut would work.
- If you’re storing this in the fridge I like to add an extra drizzle of olive oil before serving just to freshen everything up again.
Is pasta salad healthy?
This recipe is pretty healthy! It uses only a handful of nourishing ingredients including rocket and cherry tomatoes.
Is pasta salad vegan?
This pasta salad is totally vegan which makes it perfect for everyone!
Want more? Try these other summer salad recipes!
- Healthy Potato Cobb Salad
- Summer Salad with Pearl Barley & Feta
- Chicken and Mango Salsa Bowl
- Halloumi Salad with Kale & Tahini Dressing
- Greek Salad with Salmon
- Summer Orzo Salad with Roasted Vegetables
WONDERING WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFTOVER INGREDIENTS ONCE YOU’VE MADE THIS SIMPLE PASTA SALAD WITH BALSAMIC?
If you’re anything like me then you’re always looking for ways to save money and avoid food waste so I want to make sure you’ve get plenty of ideas on how to use up any ingredients that are leftover from my recipes!
Simple Pasta Salad with Balsamic
- 500 g Pasta cooked
- 4 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 30 g Fresh Basil chopped
- 150 g Cherry Tomatoes I like the ones on the vine
- 60 g Rocket (Arugula)
- Salt and Pepper
- Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Place your cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with half the olive oil. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper and place in the oven for about 25 minutes.
- While the tomatoes are roasting cook your pasta in salted water. When the tomatoes are finished cooking place in a bowl with the roasting juices, balsamic vinegar, the rest of the oil, salt and pepper and the basil. Stir together gently.
- Pour the tomato mixture over the cooked pasta, toss together then add the rocket and toss again. Serve warm or cold.
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